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Redefining The Genetic Hierarchies Controlling Skeletal Myogenesis: Pax-3 And Myf-5 Act Upstream Of MyoD

S. Tajbakhsh, D. Rocancourt, G. Cossu, M. Buckingham
Published 1997 · Biology, Medicine

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We analyzed Pax-3 (splotch), Myf-5 (targeted with nlacZ), and splotch/Myf-5 homozygous mutant mice to investigate the roles that these genes play in programming skeletal myogenesis. In splotch and Myf-5 homozygous embryos, myogenic progenitor cell perturbations and early muscle defects are distinct. Remarkably, splotch/Myf-5 double homozygotes have a dramatic phenotype not seen in the individual mutants: body muscles are absent. MyoD does not rescue this double mutant phenotype since activation of this gene proves to be dependent on either Pax-3 or Myf-5. Therefore, Pax-3 and Myf-5 define two distinct myogenic pathways, and MyoD acts genetically downstream of these genes for myogenesis in the body. This genetic hierarchy does not appear to operate for head muscle formation.
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