The MyoD1 family of myogenic nuclear regulatory proteins includes MyoD1/myf3 and myogenin/myf4. These genes and their proteins are critical for skeletal muscle development. Antibodies to MyoD1 and myogenin are relatively recent additions to the armamentarium of the surgical pathologist. This article reviews the biology of the myogenic nuclear regulatory proteins and their use in the diagnosis of rhabdomyosarcoma. Special attention is given to technical and interpretative issues critical to the use of these antibodies in diagnostic pathology.