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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2010 Oct;22(5):566-74. doi: 10.1016/

Born to run: creating the muscle fiber.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.


From the muscles that control the blink of your eye to those that allow you to walk, the basic architecture of muscle is the same: muscles consist of bundles of the unit muscle cell, the muscle fiber. The unique morphology of the individual muscle fiber is dictated by the functional demands necessary to generate and withstand the forces of contraction, which in turn leads to movement. Contractile muscle fibers are elongated, syncytial cells, which interact with both the nervous and skeletal systems to govern body motion. In this review, we focus on three key cell-cell and cell-matrix contact processes, that are necessary to create this exquisitely specialized cell: cell fusion, cell elongation, and establishment of a myotendinous junction. We address these processes by highlighting recent findings from the Drosophila model system.

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