Intrinsic, Hox-dependent cues determine the fate of skeletal muscle precursors

L E Alvares, F R Schubert, C Thorpe, R C Mootoosamy, L Cheng, G Parkyn, A Lumsden, S Dietrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)


It is generally held that vertebrate muscle precursors depend totally on environmental cues for their development. We show that instead, somites are predisposed toward a particular myogenic program. This predisposition depends on the somite's axial identity: when flank somites are transformed into limb-level somites, either by shifting somitic boundaries with FGF8 or by overexpressing posterior Hox genes, they readily activate the program typical for migratory limb muscle precursors. The intrinsic control over myogenic programs can only be overridden by FGF4 signals provided by the apical ectodermal ridge of a developing limb.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379 - 390
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2003


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