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Methods Mol Biol. 2008;475:115-33. doi: 10.1007/978-1-59745-250-2_7.

Molecular control of mammalian myoblast fusion.

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Graduate Program in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology, Department of Pharmacology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.


The fusion of postmitotic mononucleated myoblasts to form syncytial myofibers is a critical step in the formation of skeletal muscle. Myoblast fusion occurs both during development and throughout adulthood, as skeletal muscle growth and regeneration require the accumulation of additional nuclei within myofibers. Myoblasts must undergo a complex series of molecular and morphological changes prior to fusing with one another. Although many molecules regulating myoblast fusion have been identified, the precise mechanism by which these molecules act in concert to control fusion remains to be elucidated. A comprehensive understanding of how myo-blast fusion is controlled may contribute to the treatment of various disorders associated with loss of muscle mass. In this chapter, we examine progress made toward elucidating the cellular and molecular pathways involved in mammalian myoblast fusion. Special emphasis is placed on the molecules that regulate myofiber formation without discernibly affecting biochemical differentiation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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