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Exp Cell Res. 2010 Nov 1;316(18):3034-41. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2010.04.029. Epub 2010 May 8.

Core issues in craniofacial myogenesis.

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Developmental Biology Institute of Marseilles-Luminy, UMR 6216/CNRS, Université de la Méditerranée, Campus de Luminy, Marseille Cedex 9, France.


Branchiomeric craniofacial muscles control feeding, breathing and facial expression. These muscles differ on multiple counts from all other skeletal muscles and originate in a progenitor cell population in pharyngeal mesoderm characterized by a common genetic program with an adjacent population of cardiac progenitor cells, the second heart field, that gives rise to much of the heart. The transcription factors and signaling molecules that trigger the myogenic program at sites of branchiomeric muscle formation are correspondingly distinct from those in somite-derived muscle progenitor cells. Here new insights into the regulatory hierarchies controlling branchiomeric myogenesis are discussed. Differences in embryological origin are reflected in the lineage, transcriptional program and proliferative and differentiation properties of branchiomeric muscle satellite cells. These recent findings have important implications for our understanding of the diverse myogenic strategies operative both in the embryo and adult and are of direct biomedical relevance to deciphering the mechanisms underlying the cause and progression of muscle restricted myopathies.

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