FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Reduced amount of the glucose-regulated protein GRP94 in skeletal myoblasts results in loss of fusion competence.

PMID 10698961


We previously showed that skeletal myocytes of the adult rabbit do not accumulate the endoplasmic reticulum glucose-regulated protein GRP94, neither constitutively nor inducibly, at variance with skeletal myocytes during perinatal development (5). Here we show that C2C12 cells up-regulate GRP94 during differentiation and, similarly to primary cultures of murine skeletal myocytes, specifically display GRP94 immunoreactivity on the cell surface. Stable transfection of C2C12 cells with grp94 antisense cDNA shows lack of myotube formation in clones displaying >40% reduction in GRP94 amount. The same result is obtained after in vivo injection of grp94-antisense myoblasts. Conversely, GRP94 overexpression is accompanied by accelerated myotube formation. Analyses of BrdU incorporation, p21 nuclear translocation, and muscle-gene expression show that muscle differentiation is not apparently affected in grp94-antisense clones. In contrast, cell-surface GRP94 is greatly reduced in grp94-antisense clones, as shown by immunocytochemistry and precipitation of cell-surface biotinylated proteins. Thus, cell-surface expression of GRP94 is necessary for maintenance of fusion competence. Furthermore, differentiating C2C12 cells grown in the presence of anti-GRP94 antibody show decreased myotube number suggesting that cell-surface GRP94 is directly involved in myoblast fusion process.