- Bone-resorbing multinucleated osteoclasts that play a central role in the maintenance and repair of our bones are formed from bone marrow myeloid progenitor cells by a complex differentiation process that culminates in fusion of mononuclear osteoclast precursors. In this study, we uncoupled the cell fusion step from both pre-fusion stages of osteoclastogenic differentiation and the post-fusion expansion of the nascent fusion connections. We accumulated ready-to-fuse cells in the presence of the fusion inhibitor lysophosphatidylcholine and then removed the inhibitor to study synchronized cell fusion.
- Multinucleated skeletal muscle fibers form through the fusion of myoblasts during development and regeneration. Previous studies identified myomaker (Tmem8c) as a muscle-specific membrane protein essential for fusion. However, the specific function of myomaker and how its function is regulated are unknown. To explore these questions, we first examined the cellular localization of endogenous myomaker. Two independent antibodies showed that whereas myomaker does localize to the plasma membrane in cultured myoblasts, the protein also resides in the Golgi and post-Golgi vesicles.