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Dev Dyn August 1, 2007; 236 (8): 2338-45.

Expression profiles of the duplicated matrix metalloproteinase-9 genes suggest their different roles in apoptosis of larval intestinal epithelial cells during Xenopus laevis metamorphosis.

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play a pivotal role in development and/or pathogenesis through degrading extracellular matrix (ECM) components. We have previously shown that Xenopus MMP-9 gene is duplicated. To assess possible roles of MMP-9 and MMP-9TH in X. laevis intestinal remodeling, we here analyzed their expression profiles by in situ hybridization and show that their expression is transiently up-regulated during thyroid hormone-dependent metamorphosis. Of interest, MMP-9TH mRNA is strictly localized in the connective tissue and most highly expressed just beneath the larval epithelium that begins to undergo apoptosis. On the other hand, cells expressing MMP-9 mRNA become first detectable in the connective tissue and then, after the start of epithelial apoptosis, also in the larval epithelium. These results strongly suggest that MMP-9TH is responsible in the larval epithelial apoptosis through degrading ECM components in the basal lamina, whereas MMP-9 is involved in the removal of dying epithelial cells during amphibian intestinal remodeling.

PubMed ID: 17654707
Article link: Dev Dyn

Genes referenced: mmp9.1

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