Remodeling the model organism: matrix metalloproteinase functions in invertebrates

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2008 Feb;19(1):14-23. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2007.06.004. Epub 2007 Jul 6.


The matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family of extracellular proteases is conserved throughout the animal kingdom. Studies of invertebrate MMPs have demonstrated they are involved in tissue remodeling. In Drosophila, MMPs are required for histolysis, tracheal growth, tissue invasion, axon guidance, and dendritic remodeling. Recent work demonstrates that MMPs also participate in Drosophila tumor invasion. In Caenorhabditis elegans an MMP is involved in anchor cell invasion; a Hydra MMP is important for regeneration and maintaining cell identity; and a sea urchin MMP degrades matrix to allow hatching. In worms and in flies, MMPs are regulated by the JNK pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axonal Transport / physiology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / enzymology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Dendritic Cells / physiology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / enzymology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Hydra / enzymology
  • Hydra / physiology
  • Invertebrates / enzymology*
  • Invertebrates / physiology*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / genetics
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / metabolism
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / physiology*
  • Models, Animal*
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / genetics
  • Protein Binding
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Sea Urchins / enzymology
  • Sea Urchins / physiology
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases / physiology


  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases