To form muscle fibers, masses of cells merge to form long tubes with many cell nuclei (above). Recent research reveals two distinct stages in this process. First, proteins on the outside of the cells (shown as spikes in A) promote the fusion of the cell membranes. The blue squares in B and C represent proteins inside the cells that facilitate the development of a pore between them, so their contents can merge. This process of cell fusion is a basic part of the biology of muscle cell fusion and of several other types of cells as well.

Study uncovers details of early stages in muscle formation and regeneration

January 9, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have identified proteins that allow muscle cells in mice to form from the fusion of the early stage cells that give rise to the muscle cells.

The findings have implications for understanding how to repair and rehabilitate muscle tissue and to understanding other processes involving cell fusion, such as when a sperm fertilizes an egg, when viruses infect cells, or when specialized cells called osteoclasts dissolve and assimilate bone tissue in order to repair and maintain bones.

Read more: Study uncovers details of early stages in muscle formation and regeneration — Medical Xpress.

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