Constitutive and regulated alpha-secretase cleavage of Alzheimer's amyloid precursor protein by a disintegrin metalloprotease.
Amyloid beta peptide (Abeta), the principal proteinaceous component of amyloid plaques in brains of Alzheimer's disease patients, is derived by proteolytic cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein (APP). Proteolytic cleavage of APP by a putative alpha-secretase within the Abeta sequence precludes the formation of the amyloidogenic peptides and leads to the release of soluble APPsalpha into the medium. By overexpression of a disintegrin and metalloprotease (ADAM), classified as ADAM 10, in HEK 293 cells, basal and protein kinase C-stimulated alpha-secretase activity was increased severalfold. The proteolytically activated form of ADAM 10 was localized by cell surface biotinylation in the plasma membrane, but the majority of the proenzyme was found in the Golgi. These results support the view that APP is cleaved both at the cell surface and along the secretory pathway. Endogenous alpha-secretase activity was inhibited by a dominant negative form of ADAM 10 with a point mutation in the zinc binding site. Studies with purified ADAM 10 and Abeta fragments confirm the correct alpha-secretase cleavage site and demonstrate a dependence on the substrate's conformation. Our results provide evidence that ADAM 10 has alpha-secretase activity and many properties expected for the proteolytic processing of APP. Increases of its expression and activity might be beneficial for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. (+info)
Unaltered cleavage and secretion of angiotensin-converting enzyme in tumor necrosis factor-alpha-converting enzyme-deficient mice.
Mammalian angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) is one of several biologically important ectoproteins that exist in both membrane-bound and soluble forms as a result of a post-translational proteolytic cleavage. It has been suggested that a common proteolytic system is responsible for the cleavage of a diverse group of membrane ectoproteins, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha-converting enzyme (TACE), a recently purified disintegrin-metalloprotease, has been implicated in the proteolytic cleavage of several cell surface proteins. Mice devoid of TACE have been developed by gene targeting. Such mice could provide a useful system to determine if TACE is responsible for the cleavage of other ectoproteins. Cultured fibroblasts without TACE activity, when transfected with cDNA encoding for the testicular isozyme of ACE (ACET), synthesized and secreted ACET normally after a proteolytic cleavage near the C terminus. In addition, similar quantities of the soluble, C-terminally truncated somatic isozyme of ACE (ACEP) were present in the serum of wild-type and TACE-deficient mice. These results demonstrate that TACE is not essential in the generation of soluble ACE under physiological conditions. Finally, we also report solubilization of ACE-secretase, the enzyme that cleaves ACE, from mouse ACE89 cells and from rabbit lung. We demonstrate that soluble ACE-secretase from both sources failed to cleave its substrate in solution, suggesting a requirement for anchoring to the membrane. (+info)
Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura and autoimmunity: a tale of shadows and suspects.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The key pathogenic feature of TTP is the formation of platelet aggregates within the microcirculation; however, the etiology of such aggregates has been elusive for years. A large amount of evidence points to an abnormal interaction between damaged vascular endothelium and platelets, although the cause of the primary microvascular endothelial cell injury is seldom clear. The autoimmune hypothesis often recurs, and this is based on a number of observations: the claimed superiority of plasma-exchange over plasma infusion, the anecdotal report of the presence of immunocomplexes and autoantibodies in TTP patients, the efficacy of the administration of corticosteroids and other immunosuppressant agents, and the concomitant occurrence of TTP in association with autoimmune diseases, especially systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). This review will focus on the complex relationships between TTP and humoral autoimmunity; in particular, similarities and differences between TTP, SLE and antiphospholipid (aPL) antibodies syndrome, as well as the putative role of several other antibodies directed towards endothelial cells and/or platelets, including the recently discovered anti-CD36 antibodies and antivWF-cleaving metalloprotease, will be discussed. DESIGN AND METHODS: The authors have been involved in the study and treatment of TTP and autoimmune diseases for years; furthermore, the PubMed data base of the National Library of Congress has been extensively searched using the Internet. CONCLUSIONS: Although over the years evidence has increased in favor of the autoimmune hypothesis for TTP etiopathogenesis, TTP should not yet be considered an autoimmune disease. Autoantibodies should be regarded as only one of the many different insults which can trigger microvascular thrombosis even though the autoimmune theory of the pathogenesis of TTP is gaining more and more strength. As far as concerns the relationship between TTP, SLE and aPL antibodies-related disorders, these diseases should be distinguished on the basis of both different clinical presentations and accurate antibody screening, although this approach should definitely not delay the prompt start of treatment. (+info)
Regulation of human ADAM 12 protease by the prodomain. Evidence for a functional cysteine switch.
The ADAMs (a disintegrin and metalloprotease) are a family of multidomain proteins that are believed to play key roles in cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. We have shown recently that human ADAM 12-S (meltrin alpha) is an active metalloprotease. It is synthesized as a zymogen, with the prodomain maintaining the protease in a latent form. We now provide evidence that the latency mechanism of ADAM 12 can be explained by the cysteine switch model, in which coordination of Zn2+ in the active site of the catalytic domain by a cysteine residue in the prodomain is critical for inhibition of the protease. Replacing Cys179 with other amino acids results in an ADAM 12 proform that is proteolytically active, but latency can be restored by placing cysteine at other positions in the propeptide. None of the amino acids adjacent to the crucial cysteine residue is essential for blocking activity of the protease domain. In addition to its latency function, the prodomain is required for exit of ADAM 12 protease from the endoplasmic reticulum. Tissue inhibitor of metalloprotease-1, -2, and -3 were not found to block proteolytic activity of ADAM 12, hence a physiological inhibitor of ADAM 12 protease in the extracellular environment remains to be identified. (+info)
Evidence for a role of a tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha)-converting enzyme-like protease in shedding of TRANCE, a TNF family member involved in osteoclastogenesis and dendritic cell survival.
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related activation-induced cytokine (TRANCE), a member of the TNF family, is a dendritic cell survival factor and is essential for osteoclastogenesis and osteoclast activation. In this report we demonstrate (i) that TRANCE, like TNF-alpha, is made as a membrane-anchored precursor, which is released from the plasma membrane by a metalloprotease; (ii) that soluble TRANCE has potent dendritic cell survival and osteoclastogenic activity; (iii) that the metalloprotease-disintegrin TNF-alpha convertase (TACE) can cleave immunoprecipitated TRANCE in vitro in a fashion that mimics the cleavage observed in tissue culture cells; and (iv) that in vitro cleavage of a TRANCE ectodomain/CD8 fusion protein and of a peptide corresponding to the TRANCE cleavage site by TACE occurs at the same site that is used when TRANCE is shed from cells into the supernatant. We propose that the TRANCE ectodomain is released from cells by TACE or a related metalloprotease-disintegrin, and that this release is an important component of the function of TRANCE in bone and immune homeostasis. (+info)
Deficient activity of von Willebrand's factor-cleaving protease in patients with disseminated malignancies.
An aberrant platelet immunorelated glycoprotein Ib (GPIb) receptor expressed by human tumor cells appears to participate in primary adhesive interactions required for the metastatic process. Hence, we questioned whether plasma von Willebrand's factor (vWf), its adhesive ligand, manifested comparable anomalies in patients with disseminated tumors. Plasma specimens from patients with disseminated metastases showed 68% (P < 0.013), 91% (P < 0.0009), and 207% (P < 0.0009) enhancements in FVIII:C activity, vWf-related antigen levels, and ristocetin co-factor activity, respectively, whereas their SDS-agarose electrophoretic analysis demonstrated a 165% (P < 0.001) increase in the highly polymeric forms of vWf compared to control preparations from patients with corresponding, localized solid tumors. Substantially reduced levels of vWf-cleaving protease activity were observed in study patient specimens, with no plasma inhibitors detectable. The clinical presence and absence of tumor metastases correlated significantly with vWf-cleaving enzyme activities of < or = 15% and > or = 88%, respectively (n = 20; P < 0.0001). Finally, with an in vitro model system, tumor-induced platelet aggregation was enhanced by 127% (P < 0.001) in study patient platelet-rich plasma (PRP) compared to control PRP and could be completely inhibited (P < 0.0009) when both tumor cells and their PRP substrates were incubated with monoclonal antibodies directed against the vWf binding epitope of GPIb alpha and against the GPIb binding epitope of plasma vWf, respectively. Unusually large vWf multimers observed in patients with disseminated tumors probably result from deficient vWf-cleaving protease activity and may represent a novel mechanism regulating primary platelet-tumor adhesive interactions involved in the metastatic process. (+info)
Cysteine-rich domain of human ADAM 12 (meltrin alpha) supports tumor cell adhesion.
The ADAMs (A disintegrin and metalloprotease) comprise a family of membrane-anchored cell surface proteins with a putative role in cell-cell and/or cell-matrix interactions. By immunostaining, ADAM 12 (meltrin alpha) was up-regulated in several human carcinomas and could be detected along the tumor cell membranes. Because of this intriguing staining pattern, we investigated whether human ADAM 12 supports tumor cell adhesion. Using an in vitro assay using recombinant polypeptides expressed in Escherichia coli, we examined the ability of individual domains of human ADAM 12 and ADAM 15 to support tumor cell adhesion. We found that the disintegrin-like domain of human ADAM 15 supported adhesion of alphavbeta3-expressing A375 melanoma cells. In the case of human ADAM 12, however, recombinant polypeptides of the cysteine-rich domain but not the disintegrin-like domain supported cell adhesion of a panel of carcinoma cell lines. On attachment to recombinant polypeptides from the cysteine-rich domain of human ADAM 12, most tumor cell lines, such as MDA-MB-231 breast carcinoma cells, were rounded and associated with numerous actin-containing filopodia and used a cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycan to attach. Finally, we demonstrated that authentic full-length human ADAM 12 could bind to heparin Sepharose. Together these results suggest a novel role of the cysteine-rich domain of ADAM 12 -- that of supporting tumor cell adhesion. (+info)
Evidence that a functional fertilin-like ADAM plays a role in human sperm-oolemmal interactions.
Fertilin is a protein initially identified in guinea pig spermatozoa; it is the prototype of a larger family of conserved, proteins designated as a disintegrin and a metalloproteinase (ADAM). These heterodimers which consist of alpha and beta subunits, containing metalloproteinase-like and disintegrin-like domains, appear to play a role in mammalian fertilization. Peptides derived from the disintegrin domains of two ADAMs, fertilin and cyritestin, interfere with gamete adhesion and sperm-egg membrane fusion in non-human species. It has been suggested that fertilin-beta binds to an oolemmal integrin, and it is proposed that the tripeptide FEE (Phe-Glu-Glu) is the integrin recognition sequence in human fertilin-beta. We evaluated whether fertilin beta plays a role in human fertilization by studying the effects of a linear octapeptide containing the FEE sequence, SFEECDLP, and a scrambled octapeptide with the same amino acids, SFPCEDEL, on the incorporation of human spermatozoa by human zona-free eggs. The effects of G4120, a potent RGD-containing (Arg-Gly-Asp) thioether-bridged cyclic peptide which blocks both fibronectin and vitronectin receptors, and the relationship between FEE- and RGD-receptor interactions on sperm-egg interactions were also studied. The FEE-containing peptide, but not the scrampled peptide, inhibited sperm adhesion to oocytes and their penetration, over the range 1-5 microM. The inhibition induced by SFEECDLP was reversible and occurred only in the presence of peptide itself. The G4120 peptide exhibited 10-fold less inhibitory effects on sperm adhesion and penetration than did SFEECDLP. When combined, SFEECDLP and G4120 exhibited strong inhibition of both adhesion and penetration at concentrations that individually had been ineffective, suggesting co-operation between the two receptor-ligand interactions during fertilization. We propose that a fertilin-like molecule is functionally active on human spermatozoa and that its interaction with an oolemmal integrin receptor plays a role in fertilization in humans. (+info)