Moore, C.A., Parkin, C.A., Bidet, Y., and Ingham, P.W. (2007) A role for the Myoblast city homologues Dock1 and Dock5 and the adaptor proteins Crk and Crk-like in zebrafish myoblast fusion. Development (Cambridge, England). 134(17):3145-3153.
Myoblast fusion follows a defined sequence of events that is strikingly similar in vertebrates and invertebrates. Genetic analysis in Drosophila has identified many of the molecules that mediate the different steps in the fusion process; by contrast, the molecular basis of myoblast fusion during vertebrate embryogenesis remains poorly characterised. A key component of the intracellular fusion pathway in Drosophila is the protein encoded by the myoblast city (mbc) gene, a close homologue of the vertebrate protein dedicator of cytokinesis 1 (DOCK1, formerly DOCK180). Using morpholino antisense-oligonucleotide-mediated knockdown of gene activity in the zebrafish embryo, we show that the fusion of embryonic fast-twitch myoblasts requires the activities of Dock1 and the closely related Dock5 protein. In addition, we show that the adaptor proteins Crk and Crk-like (Crkl), with which Dock proteins are known to interact physically, are also required for myoblast fusion.