ADAMs (A Disintegrin And Metalloprotease domain) are metalloprotease-disintegrin proteins that have been implicated in cell adhesion, protein ectodomain shedding, matrix protein degradation and cell fusion. Since such events are critical for bone resorption and osteoclast recruitment, we investigated whether they require ADAMs. We report here which ADAMs we have identified in bone cells, as well as our analysis of the generation, migration and resorptive activity of osteoclasts in developing metatarsals of mouse embryos lacking catalytically active ADAM 17 [TNFalpha converting enzyme (TACE)]. The absence of TACE activity still allowed the generation of cells showing an osteoclastic phenotype, but prevented their migration into the core of the diaphysis and the subsequent formation of marrow cavity. This suggests a role of TACE in the recruitment of osteoclasts to future resorption sites.