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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2000 Jan 20;57(1):77-95.

Cellular turnover and extracellular matrix remodeling in female reproductive tissues: functions of metalloproteinases and their inhibitors.

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  • 1Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Ontario Cancer Institute, Canada.

Abstract

Female reproductive tissues possess a unique ability to accommodate a remarkable amount of cell turnover and extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling following puberty. Cellular structures within ovary, uterus, and mammary tissue not only change cyclically in response to ovarian hormones but also undergo differentiation during pregnancy, and eventually revert to that resembling the pre-pregnant stage. Cell proliferation, apoptosis, invasion, and differentiation are integral cellular processes that are precisely regulated in reproductive tissues, but become dysregulated in pathologies such as cancer. Explicit reorganization of ECM and basement membranes is also critical to preserve the form and function of these tissues. Here we review the evidence that coordinated spatiotemporal expression patterns of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) genes and their tissue inhibitors (TIMPs) are important in cell and ECM turnover of the ovary, uterus, and mammary tissues. We discuss how perturbation in these gene families may impact the biology of these reproductive tissues and the factors implicated in the control of MMP and TIMP gene expression. The observed trends in MMP and TIMP expression involved in ovarian and mammary carcinomas are also presented.

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