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Neuron. 2003 Feb 20;37(4):559-62.

Metalloproteases: carving out a role in axon guidance.

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  • 1University of Calgary, Genes and Development Research Group, HSC 2207, 3330 Hospital Drive, NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 4N1.


Two families of metalloproteases, the matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) and the A Disintegrin and Metalloproteases (ADAMs), have recently been implicated in the formation of neural connections in the developing central nervous system. Invertebrate and vertebrate axons fail to extend and/or make pathfinding errors when metalloprotease function is inhibited or absent. Culture studies suggest that this requirement for metalloprotease activity results from their ability to cleave ligands, or their receptors, so as to activate or inhibit specific axon extension or guidance signaling pathways.

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