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Dev Biol. 2003 Sep 15;261(2):371-80.

TACE is required for fetal murine cardiac development and modeling.

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Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology, University of Southern California, 2250 Alcazar St., CSA 103, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.

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  • Dev Biol. 2004 Jan 1;265(1):291.


Tumor necrosis factor-alpha converting enzyme (TACE) is a membrane-anchored, Zn-dependent metalloprotease, which belongs to the ADAM (a disintegrin and metalloprotease) family. TACE functions as a membrane sheddase to release the ectodomain portions of many transmembrane proteins, including the precursors of TNFalpha, TGFalpha, several other cytokines, as well as the receptors for TNFalpha, and neuregulin (ErbB4). Mice with TACE(DeltaZn/DeltaZn) null mutation die at birth with phenotypic changes, including failure of eyelid fusion, hair and skin defects, and abnormalities of lung development. Abnormal fetal heart development was not previously described. Herein, we report that TACE(DeltaZn/DeltaZn) null mutant mice by late gestation exhibit markedly enlarged fetal hearts with increased myocardial trabeculation and reduced cell compaction, mimicking the pathological changes of noncompaction of ventricular myocardium. In addition, larger cardiomyocyte cell size and increased cell proliferation were observed in ventricles of TACE(DeltaZn/DeltaZn) knockout mouse hearts. At the molecular level, reduced expression of epidermal growth factor receptor, attenuated protein cleavage of ErbB4, and changes in MAPK activation were also detected in TACE(DeltaZn/DeltaZn) knockout heart tissues. The data suggest that TACE-mediated cell surface protein ectodomain shedding plays an essential and a novel regulatory role during cardiac development and modeling.

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