Send to

Choose Destination
Dev Biol. 1989 Aug;134(2):271-8.

Opposing effects of calcium entry and phorbol esters on fusion of chick muscle cells.

Author information

Cellular and Developmental Biology Program, State University of New York, Stony Brook 11794.


Studies utilizing cultured muscle cells have shown that myoblast fusion requires extracellular Ca2+ and involves transient coordinated changes in cell membrane topography and cytoskeletal organization. However, neither the mechanisms by which Ca2+ influences these changes nor its cellular sites of action are known. We have investigated the effects of Ca2+ channel modulators and phorbol esters on fusion of embryonic chick myoblasts in culture. Myoblast fusion was inhibited by the Ca2+ channel blockers D600 and nitrendipine and stimulated by the Ca2+ channel activator Bay K 8644. We have obtained evidence that the tumor promoting phorbol ester 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) inhibits fusion through activation of protein kinase C. Myoblasts prevented from fusing by Ca2+ channel blockers or TPA display a distinctive elongated morphology that is characteristic of cells prevented from fusion by Ca2+ deprivation. The inhibition of fusion by D600 and TPA is significantly diminished in the presence of the Ca2+ ionophore A23187. TPA arrest of myoblast fusion was found to be accompanied by an increase in phosphorylation of the 20-kDa light chain of cytoplasmic myosin in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The effects of TPA on myoblast fusion and phosphorylation of myosin light chain were mimicked by the cell permeant diacylglycerol sn-1,2-dioctanoylglycerol, a potent activator of protein kinase C. The present results suggest that activators of protein kinase C block fusion by interfering with a Ca2+ signal transduction pathway and that this interference may be associated with a protein kinase C catalyzed inhibitory phosphorylation of myosin light chain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center