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Dev Cell. 2010 Aug 17;19(2):317-28. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2010.07.008.

Downstream of identity genes: muscle-type-specific regulation of the fusion process.

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GReD, INSERM U, CNRS UMR, University of Clermont-Ferrand, France.


In all metazoan organisms, the diversification of cell types involves determination of cell fates and subsequent execution of specific differentiation programs. During Drosophila myogenesis, identity genes specify the fates of founder myoblasts, from which derive all individual larval muscles. Here, to understand how cell fate information residing within founders is translated during differentiation, we focus on three identity genes, eve, lb, and slou, and how they control the size of individual muscles by regulating the number of fusion events. They achieve this by setting expression levels of Mp20, Pax, and mspo, three genes that regulate actin dynamics and cell adhesion and, as we show here, modulate the fusion process in a muscle-specific manner. Thus, these data show how the identity information implemented by transcription factors is translated via target genes into cell-type-specific programs of differentiation.

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