By microarray analyses, we identified two genes (BmADAMTS-1 and BmADAMTS-like) encoding a protein, which are induced during the pupal ecdysis in the wing discs of Bombyx mori; these genes are homologous to ADAMTS family members (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase domain, with thrombospondin type-1 repeats). A complete metal-binding motif of the ADAM-type metalloprotease domain (HEXXHXXGXXHD) was contained in both amino acid sequences. However, thrombospondin type 1 (TSP-1) repeats were observed only in BmADAMTS-1. The BmADAMTS-1 gene was expressed in the hemocyte and midgut of the larvae at day 2 of wandering stage (W2), and strongly induced during the pupal ecdysis in the hemolymph. The BmADAMTS-like gene was expressed in the epithelial tissues of the larvae at W2, and had expression peaks slightly later than the BmADAMTS-1 gene. Our results indicate that BmADAMTS-1 and BmADAMTS-like may cleave the extracellular matrix (ECM) in the degenerating and remodeling tissues during the molting periods.
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