Autonomous xenogenic cell fusion of murine and chick skeletal muscle myoblasts

Anim Sci J. 2017 Nov;88(11):1880-1885. doi: 10.1111/asj.12884. Epub 2017 Aug 7.


Cell-cell fusion has been a great technology to generate valuable hybrid cells and organisms such as hybridomas. In this study, skeletal muscle myoblasts were utilized to establish a novel method for autonomous xenogenic cell fusion. Myoblasts are mononuclear myogenic precursor cells and fuse mutually to form multinuclear myotubes. We generated murine myoblasts (mMBs) expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) termed mMB-GFP, and the chick myoblasts (chMBs) expressing Discosoma red fluorescent protein (DsRed) termed chMB-DsRed. mMB-GFP and chMB-DsRed were cocultured and induced to differentiate. After 24 h, the multinuclear myotubes expressing both GFP and DsRed were observed, indicating that mMBs and chMBs interspecifically fuse. These GFP+ /DsRed+ hybrid myotubes were able to survive and grew to hyper-multinucleated mature form. We also found that undifferentiated mMB-GFP efficiently fuse to the chMB-DsRed-derived myotubes. This is the first evidence for the autonomous xenogenic fusion of mammalian and avian cells. Myoblast-based fusogenic technique will open up an alternative direction to create novel hybrid products.

Keywords: cell fusion; hybrid cell; myotube formation; skeletal muscle myoblast.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Fusion / methods*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chick Embryo
  • Coculture Techniques / methods*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Hybrid Cells*
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal
  • Muscle, Skeletal / cytology*
  • Myoblasts / cytology*


  • Luminescent Proteins
  • red fluorescent protein
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins