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J Cell Physiol. 2005 Oct;205(1):123-32.

Expression pattern of four membrane-type matrix metalloproteinases in the normal and diseased mouse mammary gland.

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Craniofacial and Skeletal Diseases Branch, Matrix Metalloproteinase Unit, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Both mammary gland development and mammary carcinogenesis involve extensive remodeling of the mammary gland extracellular matrix. The expression of four membrane-type matrix metalloproteinases (MT-MMPs) with matrix remodeling potential in development and tumorigenesis was evaluated by in-situ hybridization on mouse mammary gland sections. MT1-MMP and MT3-MMP were found in the mammary stroma mainly around epithelial structures in both developing and mature mammary gland. In contrast, MT2-MMP was found exclusively in the mammary epithelium. Lactating gland expressed none of the examined MT-MMPs. Mammary gland tumors expressed MT1-MMP, MT2-MMP, and MT3-MMP while MT4-MMP was not expressed in any developmental or cancerous stage analyzed here. Our results suggest that MT1-MMP, MT2-MMP, and MT3-MMP may be involved in remodeling of both the normal and diseased mammary gland either directly or indirectly by activation of other MMPs.

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