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J Biol Chem. 1995 Jun 16;270(24):14568-75.

Human macrophage metalloelastase. Genomic organization, chromosomal location, gene linkage, and tissue-specific expression.

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Department of Medicine, Jewish Hospital, Washington University Medical Center, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


Human macrophage metalloelastase (HME) is a recent addition to the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family that was initially found to be expressed in alveolar macrophages of cigarette smokers. To understand more about HME expression, analysis of the structure and location of the gene was performed. The gene for HME is composed of 10 exons and 9 introns, similar to the stromelysins and collagenases, and HME shares the highly conserved exon size and intron-exon borders with other MMPs. The 13-kilobase (kb) HME gene has been localized by fluorescence in situ hybridization to chromosome 11q22.2-22.3, the same location of the interstitial collagenase and stromelysin genes. We determined that HME and stromelysin 1 genes are physically linked within 62 kb utilizing pulse-field gel electrophoresis. The promoter region of the HME gene contains several features common to other MMP genes including a TATA box 29 bp upstream to the transcription initiation site, an AP-1 motif, and a PEA3 element. HME mRNA is not detectable in normal adult tissues but is induced in rapidly remodeling tissues such as the term placenta. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry of placental tissue demonstrated HME mRNA and protein expression in macrophages and stromal cells. Cell-specific expression and response to inflammatory stimuli such as endotoxin is conferred within 2.8 kb of the HME 5'-flanking sequence as demonstrated by HME promoter-CAT expression constructs. Knowledge of the genomic organization and chromosomal location of HME may allow us to further define mechanisms responsible for cell- and tissue-specific expression of HME.

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