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Dev Cell. 2007 May;12(5):751-66.

The transmembrane protein Kon-tiki couples to Dgrip to mediate myotube targeting in Drosophila.

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Institute of Molecular Pathology, Dr. Bohr Gasse 7, A-1030 Vienna, Austria.


Directed cell migration and target recognition are critical for the development of both the nervous and muscular systems. Molecular mechanisms that control these processes in the nervous system have been intensively studied, whereas those that act during muscle development are still largely uncharacterized. Here we identify a transmembrane protein, Kon-tiki (Kon), that mediates myotube target recognition in the Drosophila embryo. Kon is expressed in a specific subset of myotubes and is required autonomously for these myotubes to recognize their tendon cell targets and to establish a stable connection. Kon is enriched at myotube tips during targeting and signals through the intracellular adaptor Dgrip in a conserved molecular pathway. Forced overexpression of Kon stimulates muscle motility. We propose that Kon promotes directed myotube migration and transduces a target-derived signal that initiates the formation of a stable connection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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