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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Metalloprotease-disintegrin MDC9: intracellular maturation and catalytic activity.

Metalloprotease disintegrins are a family of membrane-anchored glycoproteins that are known to function in fertilization, myoblast fusion, neurogenesis, and ectodomain shedding of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha. Here we report the analysis of the intracellular maturation and catalytic activity of the widely expressed metalloprotease disintegrin MDC9. Our results suggest that the pro-domain of MDC9 is removed by a furin-type pro-protein convertase in the secretory pathway before the protein emerges on the cell surface. The soluble metalloprotease domain of MDC9 cleaves the insulin B-chain, a generic protease substrate, providing the first evidence that MDC9 is catalytically active. Soluble MDC9 appears to have distinct specificities for cleaving candidate substrate peptides compared with the TNF-alpha convertase (TACE/ADAM17). The catalytic activity of MDC9 can be inhibited by hydroxamic acid-type metalloprotease inhibitors in the low nanomolar range, in one case with up to 50-fold selectivity for MDC9 versus TACE. Peptides mimicking the predicted cysteine-switch region of MDC9 or TACE inhibit both enzymes in the low micromolar range, providing experimental evidence for regulation of metalloprotease disintegrins via a cysteine-switch mechanism. Finally, MDC9 is shown to become phosphorylated when cells are treated with the phorbol ester phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, a known inducer of protein ectodomain shedding. This work implies that removal of the inhibitory pro-domain of MDC9 by a furin-type pro-protein convertase in the secretory pathway is a prerequisite for protease activity. After pro-domain removal, additional steps, such as protein kinase C-dependent phosphorylation, may be involved in regulating the catalytic activity of MDC9, which is likely to target different substrates than the related TNF-alpha-convertase.[1]


  1. Metalloprotease-disintegrin MDC9: intracellular maturation and catalytic activity. Roghani, M., Becherer, J.D., Moss, M.L., Atherton, R.E., Erdjument-Bromage, H., Arribas, J., Blackburn, R.K., Weskamp, G., Tempst, P., Blobel, C.P. J. Biol. Chem. (1999) [Pubmed]
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