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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Apr 30;93(9):3942-6.

Metalloelastase is required for macrophage-mediated proteolysis and matrix invasion in mice.

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  • 1Division of Respiratory and Critical Care, Washington University School of Medicine, Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.


Macrophages secrete a variety of proteinases that are thought to participate in remodeling of the extracellular matrix associated with inflammatory processes. We have eliminated expression of the macrophage metalloelastase (MME) gene by targeted disruption to assess the role of this protein in macrophage-mediated proteolysis. We found that the macrophages of MME-deficient (MME-/-) mice have a markedly diminished capacity to degrade extracellular matrix components. In addition, MME-/- macrophages are essentially unable to penetrate reconstituted basement membranes in vitro and in vivo. MME is therefore required for macrophage-mediated extracellular matrix proteolysis and tissue invasion.

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