Using a replica technique, we have isolated and characterized five genetic variants of the C2 mouse muscle cell line that are defective in incorporation of radiolabeled sulfate into glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). The variants incorporate free sulfate into GAGs at 5-20% of wild-type levels. None of the variants is defective in sulfate transport across the cell membrane, and in no case could the deficit in incorporation of sulfate be reversed by addition of an artificial initiator of GAG biosynthesis, p-nitrophenyl β-d-xyloside. Analysis of the incorporation of [3H]glucosamine into GAGs by the variants revealed three different patterns: one variant incorporated [3H]glucosamine at the wild-type level; one, S27, at a severely reduced level; and three at intermediate levels. Four of the five variants showed marked deficits in their ability to differentiate and fuse. The remaining variant, S27, formed multinucleated myotubes and expressed acetylcholine receptor with a normal time course. Differentiation of the first four variants could not be restored by addition of exogenous GAGs or extracellular matrix. Because of the important roles that GAGs and proteoglycans are thought to play in the differentiation of muscle, these genetic variants should serve as useful tools in functional analyses of these molecules.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology