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Image: NIH study uncovers details of early stages in muscle formation and regeneration

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Graphic showing process of cell fusion.

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.
Last Updated Date: 01/04/2013
Last Reviewed Date: 01/04/2013
Vision National Institutes of Health Home BOND National Institues of Health Home Home Storz Lab: Section on Environmental Gene Regulation Home Machner Lab: Unit on Microbial Pathogenesis Home Division of Intramural Population Health Research Home Bonifacino Lab: Section on Intracellular Protein Trafficking Home Lilly Lab: Section on Gamete Development Home Lippincott-Schwartz Lab: Section on Organelle Biology