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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2009 Oct;19(5):444-53. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2009.08.001. Epub 2009 Sep 15.

Distinct and dynamic myogenic populations in the vertebrate embryo.

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Institut Pasteur, CNRS URA 2578, 28 rue du Dr Roux, 75015 Paris, France.


Myogenic cells in the body of vertebrates derive from the dorsal somite, the dermomyotome, where multipotent cells are present. Regulation of cell fate choice is discussed, as is that of progenitor cell self-renewal once cells have entered the myogenic programme. Ongoing research on the formation of the first skeletal muscle, the myotome, is presented with emphasis on mechanisms controlling the early segregation of slow and fast muscle lineages that characterizes this process in the zebrafish embryo. Further insights into myogenic populations that contribute to trunk and limb development at different stages are summarized and the distinct regulatory networks that underlie the formation of head muscles are discussed.

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