, Volume 333, Issue 1, pp 81-90
Date: 10 May 2008

Contrasting expression of membrane metalloproteinases, MT1-MMP and MT3-MMP, suggests distinct functions in skeletal development

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Abstract

Membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) is the most ubiquitous and widely studied of the membrane-type metalloproteinases (MT-MMPs). It was thus surprising to find no published data on chicken MT1-MMP. We report here the characterization of the chicken gene. Its low sequence identity with the MT1-MMP genes of other species, high GC content, and divergent catalytic domain explains the absence of data and our difficulties in characterizing the gene. The absence of structural features in the chicken gene that have been suggested to be critical for the activation of MMP-2 by MT1-MMP; for the effect of MT1-MMP on cell migration and for the recycling of MT1-MMP suggest these features are either not essential or that MT1-MMP does not perform these functions in chickens. Comparison of the expression of chicken MT1-MMP with MT3-MMP and with MMP-2 and MMP-13 has confirmed the previously recognized co-expression of MT1-MMP with MMP-2 and MMP-13 in fibrous and vascular tissues, particularly those surrounding the developing long bones in other species. By contrast, MT3-MMP expression differs markedly from that of MT1-MMP and of both MMP-2 and MMP-13. MT3-MMP is expressed by chondrocytes of the developing articular surface. Similar expression patterns of this group of MT-MMPs and MMPs have been observed in mouse embryos and suggest distinct and specific functions for MT1-MMP and MT3-MMP in skeletal development.