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1.  Nonselective Assembly of Fibrillin 1 and Fibrillin 2 in the Rodent Ocular Zonule and in Cultured Cells: Implications for Marfan Syndrome 
Fibrillins are the major constituent of tissue microfibrils, which form the ocular zonule. In Marfan syndrome (MFS), FBN1 mutations lead to ectopia lentis. The goal of this work was to investigate zonule composition and formation in fibrillin-deficient and wild-type mice.
Immunofluorescence staining of eyes from wild-type, Fbn1-deficient, and Fbn2-deficient mice, as well as other species, was performed using monospecific fibrillin 1 and fibrillin 2 antibodies. The zonule of Fbn1-deficient and Fbn2-deficient mice was studied by electron microscopy. Microfibril formation in vitro was evaluated by immunofluorescence microscopy of cultured nonpigmented ciliary epithelial cells and fibroblasts.
A zonule was present in both Fbn1-deficient and Fbn2-deficient mouse eyes. Immunofluorescence demonstrated that the zonule of Fbn1-deficient mice, wild-type mice, rats, and hamsters contained fibrillin 2. The zonule of Fbn2−/− mice contained fibrillin 1. Fibrillin 1 and fibrillin 2 colocalized in microfibrils formed in human nonpigmented ciliary epithelium cultures. Like fibrillin 1, fibrillin 2 microfibril assembly was fibronectin dependent and initiated by cell surface punctate deposits that elongated to form microfibrils.
These data suggest that fibrillin 1 assembly and fibrillin 2 assembly share similar mechanisms. Microfibril composition depends substantially on the local levels of fibrillin isoforms and is not highly selective in regard to the isoform. This raises the intriguing possibility that the zonule could be strengthened in MFS by inducing fibrillin 2 expression in ciliary epithelium. The presence of fibrillin 2 in the murine zonule and an intact zonule in Fbn1-knockout mice may limit the utility of rodent models for studying ectopia lentis in MFS.
Rodent zonule contains both fibrillin 1 and fibrillin 2.
PMCID: PMC3875392  PMID: 24265020
zonule; fibrillin; Marfan syndrome
2.  A Disintegrin-Like and Metalloprotease Domain Containing Thrombospondin Type 1 Motif-like 5 (ADAMTSL5) is a novel fibrillin-1-, fibrillin-2-, and heparin-binding member of the ADAMTS superfamily containing a netrin-like module 
ADAMTS-like proteins are related to ADAMTS metalloproteases by their similarity to ADAMTS ancillary domains. Here, we have characterized ADAMTSL5, a novel member of the superfamily with a unique modular organization that includes a single C-terminal netrin-like (NTR) module. Alternative splicing of ADAMTSL5 at its 5′ end generates two transcripts that encode different signal peptides, but the same mature protein. These transcripts differ in their translational efficiency. Recombinant ADAMTSL5 is a secreted, N-glycosylated 60 kDa glycoprotein located in the subcellular matrix, on the cell-surface, and in the medium of transfected cells. RT-PCR and western blot analysis of adult mouse tissues showed broad expression. Western blot analysis suggested proteolytic release of the NTR module in transfected cells as well as in some mouse tissues. Immunostaining during mouse organogenesis identified ADAMTSL5 in musculoskeletal tissues such as skeletal muscle, cartilage and bone, as well as in many epithelia. Affinity-chromatography demonstrated heparin-binding of ADAMTSL5 through its NTR-module. Recombinant ADAMTSL5 bound to both fibrillin-1 and fibrillin-2, and co-localized with fibrillin microfibrils in the extracellular matrix of cultured fibroblasts, but without discernible effect on microfibril assembly. ADAMTSL5 is the first family member shown to bind both fibrillin-1 and fibrillin-2. Like other ADAMTS proteins implicated in microfibril biology through identification of human and animal mutations, ADAMTSL5 could have a role in modulating microfibril functions.
PMCID: PMC3546522  PMID: 23010571
ADAMTS; ADAMTS-like; netrin-like module; fibrillin microfibril; heparin; alternative splicing
3.  The biology of the extracellular matrix: novel insights 
Purpose of review
Extracellular matrix (ECM) has both structural and regulatory roles. This update reviews the representative recent developments in diverse aspects of ECM biology relevant to inflammation, tissue destruction, fibrosis, and regeneration.
Recent findings
Biological regulation by ECM is emerging as a major research area, driven by several new directions. Sensing of mechanical cues provided by ECM was found to be crucial in regulating cell differentiation. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is a pivotal agent in fibrosis and inflammation. A combination of structural biology and cell biology provided novel insights on the mechanisms of its activation by cellular traction and ECM. Improved understanding of how fibrillin microfibrils and associated proteins regulated TGF-β sequestration and activation was achieved by analysis of inherited connective tissue disorders having TGF-β dysregulation as an underlying pathologic mechanism. Insights on microRNA-mediated ECM regulation suggest a key role for miR-29, for which potential therapeutic roles are emerging. Advances in understanding the ECM turnover by proteinases provided novel insights on cell regulation and identified useful disease biomarkers.
As a crucial modulator of cell behavior, ECM has exceptionally strong relevance and translational implications for human disease, opening novel opportunities for mechanistic understanding of disease pathogenesis as well as treatment.
PMCID: PMC3560377  PMID: 23143224
fibrosis; inflammation; microRNA; TGF-β; tissue engineering
5.  ADAMTSL4, a Secreted Glycoprotein Widely Distributed in the Eye, Binds Fibrillin-1 Microfibrils and Accelerates Microfibril Biogenesis 
ADAMTSL4 mutations result in recessively inherited isolated ectopia lentis, a dysgenesis of the fibrillin-1–rich zonule of Zinn. This research shows that ADAMTSL4 binds fibrillin-1 microfibrils and accelerates their biogenesis, thus providing a potential underlying mechanism for this disorder.
ADAMTSL4 mutations cause autosomal recessive isolated ectopia lentis (IEL) and ectopia lentis et pupillae. Dominant FBN1 mutations cause IEL or syndromic ectopia lentis (Marfan syndrome and Weill-Marchesani syndrome). The authors sought to characterize recombinant ADAMTSL4 and the ocular distribution of ADAMTSL4 and to investigate whether ADAMTSL4 influences the biogenesis of fibrillin-1 microfibrils, which compose the zonule.
ADAMTSL4 was expressed by the transfection of HEK293F cells. Protein extracts and paraffin sections from human eyes were analyzed by Western blot analysis and by immunoperoxidase staining, respectively. Immunofluorescence was used to evaluate fibrillin-1 deposition in the ECM of fetal bovine nuchal ligament cells after culture in ADAMTSL4-conditioned medium or control medium. Confocal microscopy was performed to investigate ADAMTSL4 and fibrillin-1 colocalization in these cultures.
Western blot analysis identified ADAMTSL4 as a glycoprotein in HEK293F cells and as a major band of 150 kDa in ocular tissues including ciliary body, sclera, cornea, and retina. Immunoperoxidase staining showed a broad ocular distribution of ADAMTSL4, associated with both cells and fibrillar ECM. When cultured in ADAMTSL4-containing medium, fetal bovine nuchal ligament cells showed accelerated fibrillin-1 deposition in ECM. ADAMTSL4 colocalized with fibrillin-1 microfibrils in the ECM of these cells.
ADAMTSL4 is a secreted glycoprotein that is widely distributed in the human eye. Enhanced fibrillin-1 deposition in the presence of ADAMTSL4 and colocalization of ADAMTSL4 with fibrillin-1 in the ECM of cultured fibroblasts suggest a potential role for ADAMTSL4 in the formation or maintenance of the zonule.
PMCID: PMC3292378  PMID: 21989719
6.  Extracellular protease ADAMTS9 suppresses esophageal and nasopharyngeal carcinoma tumor formation by inhibiting angiogenesis 
Cancer research  2010;70(13):5567-5576.
ADAMTS metalloprotease family member ADAMTS9 maps to 3p14.2 and shows significant associations with the aerodigestive tract cancers esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). However, the functional impact of ADAMTS9 on cancer development has not been explored. In this study, we evaluated hypothesized anti-angiogenic and tumor suppressive functions of ADAMTS9 in ESCC and NPC, in stringent tumorigenicity and matrigel plug angiogenesis assays. ADAMTS9 activation suppressed tumor formation in nude mice. Conversely, knockdown of ADAMTS9 resulted in clones reverting to the tumorigenic phenotype of the parental cells. In vivo angiogenesis assays revealed a reduction in microvessel numbers in gel plugs injected with tumor-suppressive cell transfectants. Similarly, conditioned media from cell transfectants dramatically reduced the tube-forming capacity of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). These activities were associated with a reduction in expression levels of the pro-angiogenic factors MMP9 and VEGFA, which were consistently reduced in ADAMTS9 transfectants derived from both cancers. Taken together, our results indicate that ADAMTS9 contributes an important function in the tumor microenvironment that acts to inhibit angiogenesis and tumor growth in both ESCC and NPC.
PMCID: PMC2896444  PMID: 20551050
ADAMTS9; tumor suppression; angiogenesis; esophageal carcinoma; nasopharyngeal carcinoma
7.  10 mM glucosamine prevents activation of proADAMTS5 (aggrecanase-2) in transfected cells by interference with post-translational modification of furin 
Glucosamine has been previously shown to suppress cartilage aggrecan catabolism in explant cultures. We determined the effect of glucosamine on ADAMTS5, a major aggrecanase in osteoarthritis, and investigated a potential mechanism underlying the observed effects.
HEK293F and CHO-K1 cells transiently transfected with ADAMTS5 cDNA were treated with glucosamine or the related hexosamine mannosamine. Glucosamine effects on FURIN transcription were determined by quantitative RT-PCR. Effects on furin-mediated processing of ADAMTS5 zymogen, and aggrecan processing by glucosamine-treated cells, were determined by western blotting. Post-translational modification of furin and N-glycan deficient furin mutants generated by site-directed mutagenesis was analyzed by western blotting, and the mutants were evaluated for their ADAMTS5 processing ability in furin-deficient CHO-RPE.40 cells.
10 mM glucosamine and 5–10 mM mannosamine reduced excision of the ADAMTS5 propeptide, indicating interference with the propeptide excision mechanism, although mannosamine compromised cell viability at these doses. Although glucosamine had no effect on furin mRNA levels, western blot of furin from glucosamine-treated cells suggested altered post-translational modification. Glucosamine treatment led to decreased glycosylation of cellular furin, with reduced furin autoactivation as the consequence. Recombinant furin treated with peptide N-glycanase F had reduced activity against a synthetic peptide substrate. Indeed, site-directed mutagenesis of two furin N-glycosylation sites, Asn387 and Asn440, abrogated furin activation and this mutant was unable to rescue ADAMTS5 processing in furin-deficient cells.
10 mM glucosamine reduces excision of the ADAMTS5 propeptide via interference with post-translational modification of furin and leads to reduced aggrecanase activity of ADAMTS5.
PMCID: PMC2826559  PMID: 19909832
Aggrecanase; glucosamine; ADAMTS; furin; catabolism
8.  MT1-MMP is required for myeloid cell fusion via regulation of Rac1 signaling 
Developmental cell  2010;18(1):77-89.
Cell fusion is essential for fertilization, myotube formation, and inflammation. Macrophages fuse in various circumstances but the molecular signals involved in the distinct steps of their fusion are not fully characterized. Using null mice and derived cells, we show that the protease MT1-MMP is necessary for macrophage fusion during osteoclast and giant cell formation in vitro and in vivo. Specifically, MT1-MMP is required for lamellipodia formation and for proper cell morphology and motility of bone marrow myeloid progenitors prior to membrane fusion. These functions of MT1-MMP do not depend on MT1-MMP catalytic activity or downstream pro-MMP-2 activation. Instead, MT1-MMP-null cells show a decreased Rac1 activity and reduced membrane targeting of Rac1 and the adaptor protein p130Cas. Retroviral rescue experiments and protein binding assays delineate a signaling pathway in which MT1-MMP, via its cytosolic tail, contributes to macrophage migration and fusion by regulating Rac1 activity through an association with p130Cas.
PMCID: PMC2822729  PMID: 20152179
9.  ADAMTS metalloproteases generate active versican fragments that regulate interdigital web regression 
Developmental cell  2009;17(5):687-698.
We show that combinatorial mouse alleles for the secreted metalloproteases Adamts5, Adamts20 (bt), and Adamts9 result in fully penetrant soft-tissue syndactyly. Interdigital webs in Adamts5−/−; bt/bt mice had reduced apoptosis and decreased cleavage of the proteoglycan versican; however, the BMP-FGF axis, which regulates interdigital apoptosis was unaffected. BMP4 induced apoptosis, but without concomitant versican proteolysis. Haploinsufficiency of either Vcan or Fbln1, a co-factor for versican processing by ADAMTS5, led to highly penetrant syndactyly in bt mice, suggesting that cleaved versican was essential for web regression. The local application of an amino-terminal versican fragment corresponding to ADAMTS-processed versican, induced cell death in Adamts5−/−; bt/bt webs. Thus, ADAMTS proteases cooperatively maintain versican proteolysis above a required threshold to create a permissive environment for apoptosis. The data highlight the developmental significance of proteolytic action on the ECM, not only as a clearance mechanism, but also as a means to generate bioactive versican fragments.
PMCID: PMC2780442  PMID: 19922873
Limb development; Interdigital web; Morphogenesis; Extracellular matrix; Proteoglycan; ADAMTS; Syndactyly; Apoptosis; Versican; Fibulin
10.  An ADAMTSL2 Founder Mutation Causes Musladin-Lueke Syndrome, a Heritable Disorder of Beagle Dogs, Featuring Stiff Skin and Joint Contractures 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(9):e12817.
Musladin-Lueke Syndrome (MLS) is a hereditary disorder affecting Beagle dogs that manifests with extensive fibrosis of the skin and joints. In this respect, it resembles human stiff skin syndrome and the Tight skin mouse, each of which is caused by gene defects affecting fibrillin-1, a major component of tissue microfibrils. The objective of this work was to determine the genetic basis of MLS and the molecular consequence of the identified mutation.
Methodology and Principal Findings
We mapped the locus for MLS by genome-wide association to a 3.05 Mb haplotype on canine chromosome 9 (CFA9 (50.11–54.26; praw <10−7)), which was homozygous and identical-by-descent among all affected dogs, consistent with recessive inheritance of a founder mutation. Sequence analysis of a candidate gene at this locus, ADAMTSL2, which is responsible for the human TGFβ dysregulation syndrome, Geleophysic Dysplasia (GD), uncovered a mutation in exon 7 (c.660C>T; p.R221C) perfectly associated with MLS (p-value = 10−12). Murine ADAMTSL2 containing the p.R221C mutation formed anomalous disulfide-bonded dimers when transiently expressed in COS-1, HEK293F and CHO cells, and was present in the medium of these cells at lower levels than wild-type ADAMTSL2 expressed in parallel.
The genetic basis of MLS is a founder mutation in ADAMTSL2, previously shown to interact with latent TGF-β binding protein, which binds fibrillin-1. The molecular effect of the founder mutation on ADAMTSL2 is formation of disulfide-bonded dimers. Although caused by a distinct mutation, and having a milder phenotype than human GD, MLS nevertheless offers a new animal model for study of GD, and for prospective insights on mechanisms and pathways of skin fibrosis and joint contractures.
PMCID: PMC2941456  PMID: 20862248
11.  Adamts5, the gene encoding a proteoglycan-degrading metalloprotease, is expressed by specific cell lineages during mouse embryonic development and in adult tissues 
Gene expression patterns : GEP  2009;9(5):314-323.
The secreted metalloprotease ADAMTS5 is implicated in destruction of the cartilage proteoglycan aggrecan in arthritis, but its physiological functions are unknown. Its expression profile during embryogenesis and in adult tissues is therefore of considerable interest. β-galactosidase (β-gal) histochemistry, enabled by a LacZ cassette inserted in the Adamts5 locus, and validated by in situ hybridization with an Adamts5 cRNA probe and ADAMTS5 immunohistochemistry, was used to profile Adamts5 expression during mouse embryogenesis and in adult mouse tissues. Embryonic expression was scarce prior to 11.5 days of gestation (E11.5) and noted only in the floor plate of the developing brain at E9.5. After E 11.5 there was continued expression in brain, especially in the choroid plexus, peripheral nerves, dorsal root ganglia, cranial nerve ganglia, spinal and cranial nerves, and neural plexuses of the gut. In addition to nerves, developing limbs have Adamts5 expression in skeletal muscle (from E13.5), tendons (from E16.5), and inter-digital mesenchyme of the developing autopod (E13.5–15.5). In adult tissues, there is constitutive Adamts5 expression in arterial smooth muscle cells, mesothelium lining the peritoneal, pericardial and pleural cavities, smooth muscle cells in bronchii and pancreatic ducts, glomerular mesangial cells in the kidney, dorsal root ganglia, and in Schwann cells of the peripheral and autonomic nervous system. Expression of Adamts5 during neuromuscular development and in smooth muscle cells coincides with the broadly distributed proteoglycan versican, an ADAMTS5 substrate. These observations suggest the major contexts in which developmental and physiological roles could be sought for this protease.
PMCID: PMC2725439  PMID: 19250981
ADAMTS5; Adamts5; Aggrecanase; Development; Mouse; Transgenic; Arthritis; Osteoarthritis; Aggrecan; Versican; LacZ; Beta-galactosidase; In situ hybridization; Peripheral nerve; Schwann cell; Smooth muscle; Skeletal muscle; Sympathetic ganglia; Inter-digital mesenchyme; Dorsal Root Ganglia; Choroid Plexus; Cartilage; Tendon; Fibroblast
12.  Positional identification of variants of Adamts16 linked to inherited hypertension 
Human Molecular Genetics  2009;18(15):2825-2838.
A previously reported blood pressure (BP) quantitative trait locus on rat Chromosome 1 was isolated in a short congenic segment spanning 804.6 kb. The 804.6 kb region contained only two genes, LOC306664 and LOC306665. LOC306664 is predicted to translate into A Disintegrin-like and Metalloproteinase with Thrombospondin Motifs-16 (Adamts16). LOC306665 is a novel gene. All predicted exons of both LOC306664 and LOC306665 were sequenced. Non-synonymous variants were identified in only one of these genes, LOC306664. These variants were naturally existing polymorphisms among inbred, outbred and wild rats. The full-length rat transcript of Adamts16 was detected in multiple tissues. Similar to ADAMTS16 in humans, expression of Adamts16 was prominent in the kidney. Renal transcriptome analysis suggested that a network of genes related to BP was differential between congenic and S rats. These genes were also differentially expressed between kidney cell lines with or without knock-down of Adamts16. Adamts16 is conserved between rats and humans. It is a candidate gene within the homologous region on human Chromosome 5, which is linked to systolic and diastolic BP in the Quebec Family Study. Multiple variants, including an Ala to Pro variant in codon 90 (rs2086310) of human ADAMTS16, were associated with human resting systolic BP (SBP). Replication study in GenNet confirmed the association of two variants of ADAMTS16 with SBP, including rs2086310. Overall, our report represents a high resolution positional cloning and translational study for Adamts16 as a candidate gene controlling BP.
PMCID: PMC2706685  PMID: 19423552
13.  ADAMTSL2 mutations in geleophysic dysplasia demonstrate a role for ADAMTS-like proteins in TGF-β bioavailability regulation 
Nature genetics  2008;40(9):1119-1123.
Geleophysic dysplasia is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by short stature, brachydactyly, thick skin and cardiac valvular anomalies often responsible for an early death. Studying six geleophysic dysplasia families, we first mapped the underlying gene to chromosome 9q34.2 and identified five distinct nonsense and missense mutations in ADAMTSL2 (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin repeats–like 2), which encodes a secreted glycoprotein of unknown function. Functional studies in HEK293 cells showed that ADAMTSL2 mutations lead to reduced secretion of the mutated proteins, possibly owing to the misfolding of ADAMTSL2. A yeast two-hybrid screen showed that ADAMTSL2 interacts with latent TGF-β–binding protein 1. In addition, we observed a significant increase in total and active TGF-β in the culture medium as well as nuclear localization of phosphorylated SMAD2 in fibroblasts from individuals with geleophysic dysplasia. These data suggest that ADAMTSL2 mutations may lead to a dysregulation of TGF-β signaling and may be the underlying mechanism of geleophysic dysplasia.
PMCID: PMC2675613  PMID: 18677313
14.  Loss of MMP-2 disrupts skeletal and craniofacial development, and results in decreased bone mineralization, joint erosion, and defects in osteoblast and osteoclast growth 
Human molecular genetics  2007;16(9):1113-1123.
The “vanishing bone” or inherited osteolysis/arthritis syndromes represent a heterogeneous group of skeletal disorders characterized by mineralization defects of affected bones and joints. Differing in anatomical distribution, severity, and associated syndromic features, gene identification in each “vanishing bone” disorder should provide unique insights into genetic/molecular pathways contributing to the overall control of skeletal growth and development. We previously described and then demonstrated that the novel autosomal recessive osteolysis/arthritis syndrome, Multicentric Osteolysis with Arthritis (MOA [MIM #605156]), was caused by inactivating mutations in the MMP2 gene (1). These in vivo results were counterintuitive and unexpected since previous in vitro studies suggested that MMP-2 overexpression and increased activity, not deficiency, would result in the bone and joint features of MOA. The apparent lack of a murine model (2) has hindered studies on disease pathogenesis and, more fundamentally, in addressing the paradox of how functional loss of a single proteolytic enzyme results in an apparent increase in bone loss. Here, we report that Mmp2-/- mice display attenuated features of human MOA including progressive loss of bone mineral density, articular cartilage destruction, and abnormal long bone and craniofacial development. Moreover, these changes are associated with markedly and developmentally-restricted decreases in osteoblast and osteoclast numbers in vivo. Mmp2-/- mice have ∼50% fewer osteoblasts and osteoclasts than control littermates at 4 days of life but these differences have nearly resolved by 4 weeks of age. In addition, despite normal cell numbers in vivo at 8 weeks of life, Mmp2-/- bone marrow cells are unable to effectively support osteoblast and osteoclast growth and differentiation in culture. Targeted inhibition of MMP-2 using siRNA in human SaOS2 and murine MC3T3 osteoblast cell lines resulted in decreased cell proliferation rates. Taken together, our findings suggest that MMP-2 plays a direct role in early skeletal development and bone cell growth and proliferation. Thus, Mmp2-/- mice provide a valuable biologic resource for studying the pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying the human disease and defining the in vivo physiologic role of MMP-2.
PMCID: PMC2576517  PMID: 17400654
15.  The Secreted Metalloprotease ADAMTS20 Is Required for Melanoblast Survival 
PLoS Genetics  2008;4(2):e1000003.
ADAMTS20 (A disintegrin-like and metalloprotease domain with thrombospondin type-1 motifs) is a member of a family of secreted metalloproteases that can process a variety of extracellular matrix (ECM) components and secreted molecules. Adamts20 mutations in belted (bt) mice cause white spotting of the dorsal and ventral torso, indicative of defective neural crest (NC)-derived melanoblast development. The expression pattern of Adamts20 in dermal mesenchymal cells adjacent to migrating melanoblasts led us to initially propose that Adamts20 regulated melanoblast migration. However, using a Dct-LacZ transgene to track melanoblast development, we determined that melanoblasts were distributed normally in whole mount E12.5 bt/bt embryos, but were specifically reduced in the trunk of E13.5 bt/bt embryos due to a seven-fold higher rate of apoptosis. The melanoblast defect was exacerbated in newborn skin and embryos from bt/bt animals that were also haploinsufficient for Adamts9, a close homolog of Adamts20, indicating that these metalloproteases functionally overlap in melanoblast development. We identified two potential mechanisms by which Adamts20 may regulate melanoblast survival. First, skin explant cultures demonstrated that Adamts20 was required for melanoblasts to respond to soluble Kit ligand (sKitl). In support of this requirement, bt/bt;Kittm1Alf/+ and bt/bt;KitlSl/+ mice exhibited synergistically increased spotting. Second, ADAMTS20 cleaved the aggregating proteoglycan versican in vitro and was necessary for versican processing in vivo, raising the possibility that versican can participate in melanoblast development. These findings reveal previously unrecognized roles for Adamts proteases in cell survival and in mediating Kit signaling during melanoblast colonization of the skin. Our results have implications not only for understanding mechanisms of NC-derived melanoblast development but also provide insights on novel biological functions of secreted metalloproteases.
Author Summary
Mice with black and white coat coloration patterns have long been favorites of mouse fanciers and geneticists alike. Analysis of mouse coat color mutants has yielded important insights into normal developmental pathways as well as human disease processes. In this study we have investigated how mutations in a secreted metalloprotease, Adamts20, result in mice with white belts in their lumbar region, even though Adamts20 is not expressed in the pigment producing cells. Our findings suggest that the belting pattern is due to a combination of increased pigment cell death, decreased pigment cell number in the trunk, and functional overlap of closely related metalloproteases. Adamts20 mutants have disrupted function of Kit, a protein that regulates pigment cell development, as well as alterations in the extracellular matrix that surrounds the pigment cells. These findings have implications both for our understanding of general mechanisms of pigment cell development as well as for new biological functions of secreted metalloproteases.
PMCID: PMC2265537  PMID: 18454205
16.  Matrix metalloproteinases: old dogs with new tricks 
Genome Biology  2003;4(6):216.
It was previously thought that the matrix metalloproteinase family acted only to degrade components of the extracellular matrix, but this view has changed with the discovery that non-extracellular-matrix molecules are also substrates.
The matrix metalloproteinase family in humans comprises 23 enzymes, which are involved in many biological processes and diseases. It was previously thought that these enzymes acted only to degrade components of the extracellular matrix, but this view has changed with the discovery that non-extracellular-matrix molecules are also substrates.
PMCID: PMC193609  PMID: 12801404

Results 1-16 (16)