Now another Minion is taking the world by storm, at least scientifically. The discovery of a new diminutive protein-named Minion by a team of Novartis researchers-challenges some long held assumptions about the genome. The discovery of Minion, a finding reported in Nature Communications on June 1, may change that approach. The Novartis group showed that Minion plays an important role in cell fusion. Without Minion, skeletal muscles-including the diaphragm-can’t function, making moving and even breathing impossible. In a pivotal test, she worked with GNF colleague Christian Schmedt to mutate minion in mouse embryos.
Myomaker seems to bring cells in close contact with one another, while Minion enables a cell to punch through the wall into its neighbor.