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Gene Review

MUSK  -  muscle, skeletal, receptor tyrosine kinase

Gallus gallus

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High impact information on MUSK

  • Finally, studies with paralyzed chicken muscle as well as with cultured chick myotubes demonstrate the dependence of MuSK on both electrical activity and trophic factors [1].
  • The recent identification of Xenopus MuSK reveals that MuSK can be detected in tissues other than skeletal muscle, such as the neural tube, eye vesicles, and spleen [1].
  • Furthermore, the regulatory profile of MuSK expression in chick muscle closely parallels that observed for acetylcholine receptor, in terms of both mRNA expression and protein localization [1].
  • Muscle-specific kinase (MuSK) is part of the receptor complex that is involved in the agrin-induced formation of the neuromuscular junction [1].
  • In myotubes in culture, this pathway has been shown to include autophosphorylation of the muscle-specific kinase MuSK, activation of Src-family kinases, tyrosine phosphorylation of the acetylcholine receptor (AChR) beta subunit, a decrease in receptor detergent extractability, and the accumulation of AChRs into high-density aggregates [2].


  1. Cloning and characterization of muscle-specific kinase in chicken. Ip, F.C., Glass, D.G., Gies, D.R., Cheung, J., Lai, K.O., Fu, A.K., Yancopoulos, G.D., Ip, N.Y. Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (2000) [Pubmed]
  2. Lithium inhibits a late step in agrin-induced AChR aggregation. Sharma, S.K., Wallace, B.G. J. Neurobiol. (2003) [Pubmed]
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