Genes that control the development of migrating muscle precursor cells


  • C. Birchmeier
  • H. Brohmann


  • Current Opinion in Cell Biology


  • Curr Opin Cell Biol 12 (6): 725-730


  • Skeletal muscles in vertebrates, despite their functional and biochemical similarities, are generated via diverse developmental mechanisms. A major subclass of hypaxial muscle groups is derived from long-range migrating progenitor cells that delaminate from the dermomyotome. The development of this lineage is controlled by Pax3, the c-Met tyrosine kinase receptor, its ligand SF/HGF (scatter factor/hepatocyte growth factor) and the homeobox factor Lbx1. These molecules are essential for establishment of the precursor pool, delamination, migration and target finding. Progress has been made in understanding patterning of the muscles, which requires a precise control of proliferation and differentiation of myogenic precursor cells.