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Keywords:

  • matrix metalloproteinases;
  • MMP-14, MMP-15, MMP-7, MMP24, development;
  • Xenopus laevis;
  • macrophage;
  • myeloid;
  • ventral blood island;
  • hindbrain;
  • rhombomeres;
  • neural crest

Abstract

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a large family of proteins in vertebrates, consisting of over 24 genes in humans, only a few of which have been identified in Xenopus. Three genes coding for MMPs in Xenopus have been identified and their expression studied during development. The membrane-bound XMMP-14 and -15 (XMT1-MMP and XMT2-MMP) both showed restricted expression patterns, the former principally localising to cranial neural crest tissues and the latter to the epidermis of the embryo. XMMP-7 codes for an MMP that lacks the hemopexin-like domain. It is expressed exclusively in macrophages or other myeloid cell types from early in development. Developmental Dynamics 231:214–220, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.