Collagen XXV promotes myoblast fusion during myogenic differentiation and muscle formation.


INSERM UMRS 1124, 45 rue des Saints-Pères, F-75270, Paris cedex 06, France. [Email]


Fusion of myoblasts into multinucleated myofibers is crucial for skeletal muscle development and regeneration. However, the mechanisms controlling this process remain to be determined. Here we identified the involvement of a new extracellular matrix protein in myoblast fusion. Collagen XXV is a transmembrane-type collagen highly transcribed during early myogenesis when primary myofibers form. Limb muscles of E12.5 and E14.5 Col25a1-/- embryos show a clear defect in the formation of multinucleated myofibers. In cell culture, the cleaved soluble extracellular domain of the collagen XXV is sufficient to promote the formation of highly multinucleated myofibers. Col25a1 is transiently expressed during myogenic differentiation and Col25a1 transcripts are down-regulated in multinucleated myofibers by a muscle-specific microRNA, miR-499. Altogether, these findings indicate that collagen XXV is required in vivo and in vitro for the fusion of myoblasts into myofibers and give further evidence that microRNAs participate to the regulation of this process.