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Dev Dyn. 2003 Jan;226(1):12-23.

Xenopus muscle development: from primary to secondary myogenesis.

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Laboratoire de Biologie du Développement et de la Différenciation Musculaire (LNRS UMR 7060 CNRS), Paris, France.


Xenopus myogenesis is characterized by specific features, different from those of mammalian and avian systems both at the cellular level and in gene expression patterns. During early embryogenesis, after the initial molecular signals inducing mesoderm, the myogenic determination factors XMyoD and XMyf-5 are activated in presomitic mesoderm in response to mesoderm-inducing factors. After these first inductions of the myogenic program, forming muscles in Xenopus can have different destinies, some of these resulting in cell death before adulthood. In particular, it is quite characteristic of this species that, during metamorphosis, the primary myotomal myofibers completely die and are progressively replaced by secondary "adult" multinucleated myofibers. This feature offers the unique opportunity to totally separate the molecular analysis of these two distinct types of myogenesis. The aim of this review is to summarize our knowledge on the cellular and molecular events as well as the epigenetic regulations involved in the construction of Xenopus muscles during development.

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