Uncover the Novel Mechanism of Muscle Development

Vertebrate myoblast fusion allows for multinucleated muscle fibers to compound the size and strength of mononucleated cells, but the genetic control of this important process remains largely unknown. In this seminar, we will start by introducing an interesting fusion model of human myoblasts that involved two muscle-specific membrane proteins named Myomaker and Myomixer. Specifically, expression of Myomaker is sufficient to induce low-grade fusion while Myomixer boosts its efficiency to generate giant myotubes. By CRISPR mutagenesis and biochemical assays, we identified MyoD as the key molecular switch of fusion that is required and sufficient to initiate Myomixer and Myomaker expression. We will then introduce our recent evolutionary study of myoblast fusion in various groups of chordates. Evolutionary comparisons between vertebrate and non-vertebrate muscle fusion proteins revealed key structural and mechanistic insights into myoblast fusion. Together, this seminar provides a timely update on our understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying human myoblast fusion.

In this webinar, you will learn the new genetics and molecular approaches to uncover the novel mechanism of tissue development and generation. This include the application of CRISPR mutagenesis, at both whole-genome level and single-gene level, for the study of gene function and regulation. The crucial aspect about the design of CRISPR gene-knockout and loss-of-function screening experiments will be discussed. You will also learn how the evolutionary comparison can lead to novel mechanistic insights of human tissue development.



Jung Doh, Collaboration Manager, Beckman Coulter Life Sciences

Jung received his undergraduate degree from Skidmore College and PhD from the University at Albany – State University of New York. He has more than 20 years of molecular biology experience in the fields of cancer, HIV/AIDS, and space biology, all of which involved high-throughput assays such as microarray and a variety of next-generation sequencing technologies.

Jung has been with Beckman Coulter Life Sciences for 6 years and held multiple roles as Applications Scientist, Global Product Manager. He is now the Collaboration Manager for the Genomics Solutions Biotechnology Business Unit. In this role, Jung strives to partner with researchers around the world to see how the top minds in the genomics field and Beckman Coulter can work together


Pengpeng Bi, Assistant Professor, University of Georgia

Pengpeng Bi received his Ph.D. degree from Purdue University in 2015. His thesis project mainly focused on the molecular regulation of cell fate choice in muscle and adipose tissues. He then joined Dr. Eric Olson’s lab in University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center as a postdoctoral researcher. By collaborating with his colleagues, Dr. Bi discovered a long-sought membrane protein named Myomixer that controls myoblast fusion and muscle development. From Aug 2018, he started his own lab as an independent investigator in Center for Molecular Medicine and Department of Genetics at the University of Georgia, where he has continually studied the mechanisms of myogenesis. Recent works from his lab were published on Science Advances (2020), Genome Research (2021), PLoS Genetics (2021), and Science Advances (2022).



Starts: September 22, 2022 3:00 pm EDT

Ends: September 22, 2022 4:00 pm EDT