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J Biol Chem. 1998 Feb 13;273(7):4180-7.

Cloning and initial characterization of mouse meltrin beta and analysis of the expression of four metalloprotease-disintegrins in bone cells.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics and Cell Biology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510, USA.


Here we report the cloning and initial biochemical characterization of the mouse metalloprotease/disintegrin/cysteine-rich (MDC) protein meltrin beta and the analysis of the mRNA expression of four MDC genes (meltrin alpha, meltrin beta, mdc9, and mdc15) in bone cells, including osteoclasts and osteoblasts. Like most other MDC proteins, the predicted meltrin beta protein consists of a signal sequence, prodomain, metalloprotease domain with a predicted catalytic site, disintegrin domain, cysteine-rich region, epidermal growth factor repeat, transmembrane domain, and cytoplasmic domain with putative signaling motifs, such as potential SH3 ligand domains. Northern blot analysis indicates that meltrin beta is widely expressed, with the highest expression in bone, heart, and lung. RNase protection studies revealed expression of all four MDC genes analyzed here in osteoblasts, whereas only mdc9 and mdc15 mRNAs were detectable in osteoclast-like cells generated in vitro. Treatment of primary osteoblasts with 10 nM calcitriol increased meltrin beta expression more than 3-fold, and both meltrin alpha and meltrin beta expression is apparently regulated in a differentiation-associated manner in a mouse osteoblastic cell line, MC3T3E1. Collectively, these results suggest that meltrin alpha and meltrin beta may play a role in osteoblast differentiation and/or function but are not likely to be involved in osteoclast fusion.

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