Previous studies have shown that spatiotemporal regulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) by proteinases is implicated in the initial step of regeneration. In amphibian regeneration, the up-regulation of proteinases such as metalloproteinases (MMPs) and cathepsin D, and proteinase-related proteins such as proteinase tissue inhibitors and activators has been demonstrated. Since the earthworm could provide a unique and valuable model to investigate the mechanism of regeneration, we studied the developmental change in proteinase expression during earthworm tail regeneration. Zymographic analysis revealed that proteinase activities began to increase within 1 h after amputation and reached a maximum at 7 days post-amputation. This peak in activity was approximately 22-fold greater than the unamputated controls. Thereafter, the proteinase activities tended to decrease followed by another peak at 30 days before returning to control levels. At least four types of proteinase were distinguishable at 7 and 30 days post-amputation, with molecular weights of 25, 28, 38, and 44 kDa, respectively. All proteinase activities were strongly inhibited by addition of phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride (PMSF) and aprotinin, specific inhibitors for serine proteinase. Pepstatin A, E-64, iodoacetamide and a metal ion-free medium were not effective inhibitors, indicating that proteinases expressed during earthworm tail regeneration would be serine proteinases. In addition, we were able to detect two types of plasminogen activator (PA) with molecular weights of 40 and 47 kDa, respectively. PA activities were predominantly expressed at 1, 5, and 25 days post-amputation, which preceded two peaks of serine proteinase activities appearing at approximately 7 and 30 days after amputation, respectively. This fact supports the view that serine proteinases expressed in respond to tail amputation may be plasmin-like proteinases activated by PA.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Developmental Biology