Myogenic regulatory factors: dissecting their role and regulation during vertebrate embryogenesis

Dev Biol. 1993 Mar;156(1):11-23. doi: 10.1006/dbio.1993.1055.


The elucidation of the myogenic regulatory factors (MRFs) has resulted in a surge of research activity that promises to bridge molecular and embryological approaches to muscle research. In this review, we consider the arguments that would place MRFs in a key determination role for the skeletal muscle lineage in the vertebrate embryo. Amphibian, avian, and murine systems are compared and recent developments in the molecular embryology of myogenesis are reviewed. A model is proposed to account for the apparent discrepancies in conclusions drawn from studies using cultured cells that indicate a role for the MRFs in determination, and studies of MRF and muscle gene expression in vivo that indicate a role in differentiation but not in lineage determination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / physiology
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development*
  • Gastrula / physiology
  • Muscle Proteins / genetics*
  • Muscles / embryology*
  • Vertebrates / embryology*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Muscle Proteins