Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. Damjanovski


Extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling is crucial for the development and maintenance of multicellular organisms. Degradation of ECM components occurs through the activity of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their inhibitors. Reversion-inducing cysteine-rich protein with Kazal motifs (RECK) gene encodes a membrane-anchored protein and plays an important role in mediating ECM remodeling by inhibiting MMPs. To date, few in vivo studies exist examining RECK during development. The present study focuses on cloning and examining the expression of RECK during early Xenopus laevis development. A mature cDNA clone of the RECK gene was generated. RT-PCR, in situ hybridization, and immunohistochemistry were used to examine the expression of RECK during development. RECK expression was low during gastrulation but increased during neurulation and into organogenesis. Furthermore, RECK was localized to the anterior and dorsal sides of the developing embryo. These results suggest an important role for RECK during late ECM remodeling events, such as neurulation.