• tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1;
  • NvTIMP1;
  • limb regeneration;
  • matrix metalloproteinases;
  • MMPs;
  • newt;
  • Notophthalmus viridescens


Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity is important for newt limb regeneration. In most biological processes that require MMP function, MMP activity is tightly controlled by a variety of mechanisms, including the coexpression of natural inhibitors. Here, we show that gene expression of one such inhibitor, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 (NvTIMP1), is upregulated during the wound healing and dedifferentiation stages of regeneration when several MMPs are at their maximal expression levels. Newt MMPs and NvTIMP1 also exhibit similar spatial expression patterns during the early stages of limb regeneration. NvTIMP1 inhibits the proteolytic activity of regeneration-related newt MMPs and, like human TIMP1, can induce a weak mitogenic response in certain cell types. These results suggest that NvTIMP1 may be functioning primarily to maintain optimal levels of MMP activity during the early stages of limb regeneration, while possibly serving a secondary role as a mitogen. Developmental Dynamics 235:606–616, 2006. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.