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Cell Res June 1, 1999; 9 (2): 91-105.
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Spatial and temporal regulation of collagenases-3, -4, and stromelysin -3 implicates distinct functions in apoptosis and tissue remodeling during frog metamorphosis.

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of extracellular proteases capable of degrading various proteinaceous components of the extracellular matrix (ECM). They have been implicated to play important roles in a number of developmental and pathological processes, such as tumor metastasis and inflammation. Relatively few studies have been carried out to investigate the function of MMPs during postembryonic organ-development. Using Xenopus laevis development as a model system, we demonstrate here that three MMPs, stromelysin-3 (ST3), collagenases-3 (Col3), and Col4, have distinct spatial and temporal expression profiles during metamorphosis as the tadpole transforms into a frog. In situ hybridizations reveal a tight, but distinct, association of individual MMPs with tissue remodeling in the tail and intestine during metamorphosis. In particular, ST3 expression is strongly correlated with apoptosis in both organs as demonstrated by analyses of serial sections with in situ hybridization for ST3 mRNA and TUNEL (terminal deoxyribonucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling) for apoptosis, respectively. On the other hand, Col3 and Col4 are present in regions where extensive connective tissue remodeling take place. These results indicate that ST3 is likely to play a role in ECM-remodeling that facilitate apoptotic tissue remodeling or resorption while Col3 and Col4 appear to participate in connective tissue degradation during development.

PubMed ID: 10418731
Article link: Cell Res

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: gnl3 mmp1 mmp11 mmp13 tfcp2

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