The role of matrix metalloproteinase-2 and metalloproteinase-9 in embryonic neural crest cells and their derivatives

Rotem Kalev-Altman, Efrat Monsonego-Ornan*, Dalit Sela-Donenfeld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Neural crest cells (NCCs) are transient cell populations that are initially residing at the dorsal-most part of the neural tube of the developing vertebrate embryo. At well-defined time points, NCCs detach from the neural tube as they undergo epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and migrate in distinct pathways to their final destinations. There, this unique cell population differentiates into a great variety of cell types including bone and cartilage tissues of the head and face, connective tissue of the heart, skin melanocytes, adipocytes, enteric neurons, and most of the peripheral sensory neurons, glia, and Schwann cells. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a large family of matrix-degrading enzymes, which are divided into several subfamilies according to their structure and substrate specificity. The gelatinases subfamily, which includes MMP-2 and MMP-9 solely, is the most investigated group. Both MMP-2 and MMP-9 were previously reported to be expressed in embryonic NCCs and to have a role in their EMT and migration processes. In this review we present the most recent data regarding the role of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in embryonic NCCs and in their various derivatives in later embryonic stages and in adults.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationProteases in Physiology and Pathology
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9789811025136
ISBN (Print)9789811025129
StatePublished - 14 Sep 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017. All rights reserved.


  • Adipocytes
  • Chondrocytes
  • Embryo
  • Enteric nervous system
  • Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition
  • Gelatinases
  • Glial cells
  • MMP-2
  • MMP-9
  • Matrix metalloproteinases
  • Melanocytes
  • Neural crest cells
  • Osteoblasts
  • Schwann cells


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