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1.  ADAM17 promotes breast cancer cell malignant phenotype through EGFR-PI3K-AKT activation 
Cancer biology & therapy  2009;8(11):1045-1054.
A disintegrin and metalloproteinase-17 (ADAM17) is involved in proteolytic ectodomain shedding of several membrane-bound growth factors and cytokines. The expression and activity of ADAM17 increase under some pathological conditions such as stroke and glioma. ADAM17 promotes neural progenitor cell migration and contributes to stroke-induced neurogenesis after stroke and brain tumor growth and invasion. In the present study, we sought to elucidate whether ADAM17 contributes to breast cancer progression and its mechanisms. To this end, we examined the role of ADAM17 in the proliferation, invasion, and tube formation of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells in vitro. Stable transfection of the MDA-MB-231 cell line with either a plasmid for over-expression of human ADAM17, or a siRNA to ADAM17 was employed in this study to establish high or low ADAM17 expression in breast cancer cells, respectively. For study of mechanism, the ADAM17 inhibitor TAPI-2 and the PI3K-AKT inhibitor LY294002 were used to counteract high ADAM17 expression or the activated PI3K-AKT pathway.
Proliferation of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells were tested by MTT, Bromodeoxyuridine incorporation assay, growth curve, and sulforhodamine B assay. Matrigel invasion assays were used to assess the ability of MDA-MB-231 cells to penetrate the Extra Cellular Matrix. A Matrigel tube formation assay was performed to test capillary tube formation ability. EGFR-PI3K-Akt pathway activation in MDA-MB-231 cells under different ADAM17 expression levels were tested by Western blot and ELISA.
Our data show that ADAM17 promotes the MDA-MB-231 malignant phenotype by increased proliferation, invasion and angiogenesis. TGF-α, VEGF secretion and VEGF expression was increasing by ADAM17 and counteracted by ADAM17 siRNA, TAPI-2, and LY294002 in MDA-MB-231 cells. ADAM17 activated, whereas ADAM17 siRNA, TAPI-2, and LY294002 deactivated the EGFR-PI3K-AKT signal pathway, which correlated with MDA-MB-231 cell malignant phenotype changes.
This study suggests ADAM17 contributes to breast cancer progression through activation of the EGFR-PI3K-AKT signal pathway.
PMCID: PMC2766867  PMID: 19395875
ADAM17; TACE; Breast cancer; EGFR-PI3K-AKT; Proliferation; invasion; Angiogenesis
2.  Differential Surface Expression of ADAM10 and ADAM17 on Human T Lymphocytes and Tumor Cells 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e76853.
A disintegrin and metalloproteases (ADAMs) have been implicated in many processes controlling organismic development and integrity. Important substrates of ADAM proteases include growth factors, cytokines and their receptors and adhesion proteins. The inducible but irreversible cleavage of their substrates alters cell-cell communication and signaling. The crucial role of ADAM proteases (e.g. ADAM10 and 17) for mammalian development became evident from respective knockout mice, that displayed pre- or perinatal lethality with severe defects in many organs and tissues. Although many substrates for these two ADAM proteases were identified over the last decade, the regulation of their surface appearance, their enzymatic activity and their substrate specificity are still not well understood. We therefore analyzed the constitutive and inducible surface expression of ADAM10 and ADAM17 on a variety of human T cell and tumor cell lines. We demonstrate that ADAM10 is constitutively present at comparably high levels on the majority of the tested cell types. Stimulation with phorbol ester and calcium ionophore does not significantly alter the amount of surface ADAM10, except for a slight down-regulation from T cell blasts. Using FasL shedding as a readout for ADAM10 activity, we show that PKC activation and calcium mobilization are both prerequisite for activation of ADAM10 resulting in a production of soluble FasL. In contrast to ADAM10, the close relative ADAM17 is detected at only low levels on unstimulated cells. ADAM17 surface expression on T cell blasts is rapidly induced by stimulation. Since this inducible mobilization of ADAM17 is sensitive to inhibitors of actin filament formation, we propose that ADAM17 but not ADAM10 is prestored in a subcellular compartment that is transported to the cell surface in an activation- and actin-dependent manner.
PMCID: PMC3793918  PMID: 24130797
3.  Expression of ADAM15 in rheumatoid synovium: up-regulation by vascular endothelial growth factor and possible implications for angiogenesis 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2005;7(6):R1158-R1173.
ADAMs (a disintegrin and metalloproteinases) comprise a new gene family of metalloproteinases, and may play roles in cell-cell interaction, cell migration, signal transduction, shedding of membrane-anchored proteins and degradation of extracellular matrix. We screened the mRNA expression of 10 different ADAMs with a putative metalloproteinase motif in synovial tissues from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or osteoarthritis (OA). Reverse transcription PCR and real-time quantitative PCR analyses indicated that among the ADAMs, ADAM15 mRNA was more frequently expressed in the RA samples and its expression level was significantly 3.8-fold higher in RA than in OA (p < 0.01). In situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting demonstrated that ADAM15 is expressed in active and precursor forms in the synovial lining cells, endothelial cells of blood vessels and macrophage-like cells in the sublining layer of RA synovium. There was a direct correlation between ADAM15 mRNA expression levels and vascular density in the synovial tissues (r = 0.907, p < 0.001; n = 20). ADAM15 was constitutively expressed in RA synovial fibroblasts and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), and the expression level was increased in HUVECs by treatment with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)165. On the other hand, ADAM15 expression in RA synovial fibroblasts was enhanced with VEGF165 only if vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR)-2 expression was induced by treatment with tumor necrosis factor-α, and the expression was blocked with SU1498, a specific inhibitor of VEGFR-2. These data demonstrate that ADAM15 is overexpressed in RA synovium and its expression is up-regulated by the action of VEGF165 through VEGFR-2, and suggest the possibility that ADAM15 is involved in angiogenesis in RA synovium.
PMCID: PMC1297561  PMID: 16277668
4.  ADAM17 promotes glioma cell malignant phenotype 
Molecular carcinogenesis  2011;51(2):150-164.
A disintegrin and metalloproteinase-17 (ADAM17) is involved in proteolytic ectodomain shedding of several membrane-bound growth factors and cytokines. The expression and activity of ADAM17 increase under some pathological conditions such as stroke and cancer. ADAM17 promotes neural progenitor cell migration and contributes to neurogenesis after stroke and breast cancer growth and invasion. In the present study, we sought to elucidate whether ADAM17 contributes to glioma progression. To this end, we examined the role of ADAM17 in the proliferation, invasion, and tube formation of U87 human glioma cells in vitro and tumor growth in vivo. Stable transfection of the U87 cell line with either a plasmid for over-expression of human ADAM17, or a siRNA to ADAM17 was employed in this study to establish high or low ADAM17 expression in glioma cells, respectively. For study of mechanism, the ADAM17 inhibitor TAPI-2 and the PI3K-AKT inhibitor LY294002 were used to counteract high ADAM17 expression and the activated PI3K-AKT pathway, respectively.
Proliferation of glioma cells were tested by thiazolyl blue tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, Bromodeoxyuridine incorporation assay, growth curve, and sulforhodamine B assay. Matrigel invasion assays were used to assess the ability of U87 cells to penetrate the extra-cellular matrix (ECM). A Matrigel tube formation assay was performed to test capillary tube formation ability. EGFR-PI3K-Akt pathway activation in U87 cells under different ADAM17 expression levels were tested by Western blot.
Our data show that ADAM17 promotes the U87 malignant phenotype by increased proliferation, invasion, angiogenesis and in vivo tumor growth. Tumor growth in nude mice was significantly inhibited by ADAM17 inhibitor and A17-shRNA in vivo transfection. TGF-α, VEGF secretion and VEGF expression was increased by ADAM17 and counteracted by ADAM17 siRNA, TAPI-2, and LY294002 in U87 cells. ADAM17 activated, whereas ADAM17 siRNA, TAPI-2, and LY294002 deactivated the EGFR-PI3K-AKT signal pathway, which correlated with U87 cell malignant phenotype changes.
This study suggests ADAM17 contributes to glioma progression through activation of the EGFR-PI3K-AKT signal pathway.
PMCID: PMC3234333  PMID: 21480393
ADAM17; TACE; Glioma; EGFR-PI3K-AKT; Proliferation; Invasion; Angiogenesis; Tumor growth; RNA interference
5.  Proteomic Identification of ADAM12 as a Regulator for TGF-β1-Induced Differentiation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Smooth Muscle Cells 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e40820.
Transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) induces the differentiation of human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hASCs) into smooth muscle cells. Lipid rafts are cholesterol-rich microdomains in cell membranes that reportedly play a key role in receptor-mediated signal transduction and cellular responses. In order to clarify whether lipid rafts are involved in TGF-β1-induced differentiation of hASCs into smooth muscle cells, we analyzed the lipid raft proteome of hASCs.
Methods and Results
Pretreatment of hASCs with the lipid raft disruptor methyl-β-cyclodextrin abrogated TGF-β1-induced expression of α-smooth muscle actin, a smooth muscle cell marker, suggesting a pivotal role of lipid rafts in TGF-β1-induced differentiation of hASCs to smooth muscle cells. Sucrose density gradient centrifugation along with a shotgun proteomic strategy using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry identified 1002 individual proteins as the lipid raft proteome, and 242 of these were induced by TGF-β1 treatment. ADAM12, a disintegrin and metalloproteases family member, was identified as the most highly up-regulated protein in response to TGF-β1 treatment. TGF-β1 treatment of hASCs stimulated the production of both ADAM12 protein and mRNA. Silencing of endogenous ADAM12 expression using lentiviral small hairpin RNA or small interfering RNA abrogated the TGF-β1-induced differentiation of hASCs into smooth muscle cells.
These results suggest a pivotal role for lipid raft-associated ADAM12 in the TGF-β1-induced differentiation of hASCs into smooth muscle cells.
PMCID: PMC3396647  PMID: 22808268
6.  Aberrant Transforming Growth Factor β1 Signaling and SMAD4 Nuclear Translocation Confer Epigenetic Repression of ADAM19 in Ovarian Cancer12 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2008;10(9):908-919.
Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β)/SMAD signaling is a key growth regulatory pathway often dysregulated in ovarian cancer and other malignancies. Although loss of TGF-β-mediated growth inhibition has been shown to contribute to aberrant cell behavior, the epigenetic consequence(s) of impaired TGF-β/SMAD signaling on target genes is not well established. In this study, we show that TGF-β1 causes growth inhibition of normal ovarian surface epithelial cells, induction of nuclear translocation SMAD4, and up-regulation of ADAM19 (a disintegrin and metalloprotease domain 19), a newly identified TGF-β1 target gene. Conversely, induction and nuclear translocation of SMAD4 were negligible in ovarian cancer cells refractory to TGF-β1 stimulation, and ADAM19 expression was greatly reduced. Furthermore, in the TGF-β1 refractory cells, an inactive chromatin environment, marked by repressive histone modifications (trimethyl-H3K27 and dimethyl-H3K9) and histone deacetylase, was associated with the ADAM19 promoter region. However, the CpG island found within the promoter and first exon of ADAM19 remained generally unmethylated. Although disrupted growth factor signaling has been linked to epigenetic gene silencing in cancer, this is the first evidence demonstrating that impaired TGF-β1 signaling can result in the formation of a repressive chromatin state and epigenetic suppression of ADAM19. Given the emerging role of ADAMs family proteins in growth factor regulation in normal cells, we suggest that epigenetic dysregulation of ADAM19 may contribute to the neoplastic process in ovarian cancer.
PMCID: PMC2517635  PMID: 18714391
7.  IL-13-induced proliferation of airway epithelial cells: mediation by intracellular growth factor mobilization and ADAM17 
Respiratory Research  2007;8(1):51.
The pleiotrophic cytokine interleukin (IL)-13 features prominently in allergic and inflammatory diseases. In allergic asthma, IL-13 is well established as an inducer of airway inflammation and tissue remodeling. We demonstrated previously that IL-13 induces release of transforming growth factor-α (TGFα) from human bronchial epithelial cells, with proliferation of these cells mediated by the autocrine/paracrine action of this growth factor. TGFα exists as an integral membrane protein and requires proteolytic processing to its mature form, with a disintegrin and metalloproteinase (ADAM)17 responsible for this processing in a variety of tissues.
In this study, normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells grown in air/liquid interface (ALI) culture were used to examine the mechanisms whereby IL-13 induces release of TGFα and cellular proliferation. Inhibitors and antisense RNA were used to examine the role of ADAM17 in these processes, while IL-13-induced changes in the intracellular expression of TGFα and ADAM17 were visualized by confocal microscopy.
IL-13 was found to induce proliferation of NHBE cells, and release of TGFα, in an ADAM17-dependent manner; however, this IL-13-induced proliferation did not appear to result solely from ADAM17 activation. Rather, IL-13 induced a change in the location of TGFα expression from intracellular to apical regions of the NHBE cells. The apical region was also found to be a site of significant ADAM17 expression, even prior to IL-13 stimulation.
Results from this study indicate that ADAM17 mediates IL-13-induced proliferation and TGFα shedding in NHBE cells. Furthermore, they provide the first example wherein a cytokine (IL-13) induces a change in the intracellular expression pattern of a growth factor, apparently inducing redistribution of intracellular stores of TGFα to the apical region of NHBE cells where expression of ADAM17 is prominent. Thus, IL-13-induced, ADAM17-mediated release of TGFα, and subsequent epithelial cell proliferation, could contribute to the epithelial hypertrophy, as well as other features, associated with airway remodeling in allergic asthma.
PMCID: PMC1976612  PMID: 17620132
8.  ADAMs 10 and 17 Represent Differentially Regulated Components of a General Shedding Machinery for Membrane Proteins Such as Transforming Growth Factor α, L-Selectin, and Tumor Necrosis Factor α 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2009;20(6):1785-1794.
Protein ectodomain shedding is a critical regulator of many membrane proteins, including epidermal growth factor receptor-ligands and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, providing a strong incentive to define the responsible sheddases. Previous studies identified ADAM17 as principal sheddase for transforming growth factor (TGF)-α and heparin-binding epidermal growth factor, but Ca++ influx activated an additional sheddase for these epidermal growth factor receptor ligands in Adam17−/− cells. Here, we show that Ca++ influx and stimulation of the P2X7R signaling pathway activate ADAM10 as sheddase of many ADAM17 substrates in Adam17−/− fibroblasts and primary B cells. Importantly, although ADAM10 can shed all substrates of ADAM17 tested here in Adam17−/− cells, acute treatment of wild-type cells with a highly selective ADAM17 inhibitor (SP26) showed that ADAM17 is nevertheless the principal sheddase when both ADAMs 10 and 17 are present. However, chronic treatment of wild-type cells with SP26 promoted processing of ADAM17 substrates by ADAM10, thus generating conditions such as in Adam17−/− cells. These results have general implications for understanding the substrate selectivity of two major cellular sheddases, ADAMs 10 and 17.
PMCID: PMC2655247  PMID: 19158376
9.  Airway epithelial cells from asthmatic children differentially express proremodeling factors 
The airway epithelium can express factors that drive subepithelial airway remodeling. TGF-β2, vascular epithelial growth factor (VEGF), a disintegrin and metalloprotease 33 (ADAM33), and periostin are hypothesized to be involved in subepithelial remodeling and are overexpressed in adult asthmatic airways. Epidemiologic data suggest that lung function deficits in asthmatic patients are acquired in childhood.
We sought to determine whether airway epithelial cells (AECs) from asthmatic children differentially express TGF-β2, VEGF, ADAM33, or periostin compared with cells from atopic nonasthmatic and healthy children intrinsically or in response to IL-4/IL-13 stimulation.
Bronchial and nasal epithelial cells were obtained from brushings from well-characterized asthmatic (n = 16), atopic nonasthmatic (n = 9), and healthy (n = 15) children after achievement of anesthesia for elective procedures. After differentiation at an air-liquid interface (ALI) for 3 weeks, conditioned media were sampled and RNA was extracted from unstimulated and IL-4/IL-13–stimulated cultures. TGF-β2 and VEGF levels were measured with ELISA. ADAM33 and periostin expression was assessed by using real-time PCR.
TGF-β2 and VEGF production was significantly greater in bronchial and nasal ALI cultures from asthmatic children than in cultures from atopic nonasthmatic and healthy children. TGF-β2 levels increased significantly in asthmatic cultures after IL-4/IL-13 stimulation. Within-subject correlation between nasal and bronchial ALI production of TGF-β2 (r = 0.64, P = .001) and VEGF (r = 0.73, P < .001) was good. Periostin expression was 3.7-fold higher in bronchial cells (P < .001) and 3.9-fold higher in nasal cells (P < .004) from asthmatic children than in cells from atopic nonasthmatic or healthy children. ADAM33 was not differentially expressed by AECs from asthmatic patients compared with that from cells from atopic nonasthmatic or healthy children.
AECs from asthmatic children differentially express TGF-β2, VEGF, and periostin compared with cells from atopic nonasthmatic and healthy children. Nasal epithelial cells might be a suitable surrogate for bronchial cells that could facilitate investigation of the airway epithelium in future longitudinal pediatric studies.
PMCID: PMC3604976  PMID: 22227417
Asthma; children; airway remodeling; epithelial cells vascular endothelial growth factor; a disintegrin and metalloprotease 33; periostin; TGF-β2
10.  ADAM17 Silencing in Mouse Colon Carcinoma Cells: The Effect on Tumoricidal Cytokines and Angiogenesis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e50791.
ADAM17 (a disintegrin and metalloprotease 17) is a major sheddase for numerous growth factors, cytokines, receptors, and cell adhesion molecules and is often overexpressed in malignant cells. It is generally accepted that ADAM17 promotes tumor development via activating growth factors from the EGF family, thus facilitating autocrine stimulation of tumor cell proliferation and migration. Here we show, using MC38CEA murine colon carcinoma model, that ADAM17 also regulates tumor angiogenesis and cytokine profile. When ADAM17 was silenced in MC38CEA cells, in vivo tumor growth and in vitro cell motility were significantly diminished, but no effect was seen on in vitro cell proliferation. ADAM17-silencing was accompanied by decreased in vitro expression of vascular endothelial growth factor-A and matrix metalloprotease-9, which was consistent with the limited angiogenesis and slower growth seen in ADAM17-silenced tumors. Among the growth factors susceptible to shedding by ADAM17, neuregulin-1 was the only candidate to mediate the effects of ADAM17 on MC38CEA motility and tumor angiogenesis. Concentrations of TNF and IFNγ, cytokines that synergistically induced proapoptotic effects on MC38CEA cells, were significantly elevated in the lysates of ADAM17-silenced tumors compared to mock transfected controls, suggesting a possible role for ADAM17 in host immune suppression. These results introduce new, complex roles of ADAM17 in tumor progression, including its impact on the anti-tumor immune response.
PMCID: PMC3519469  PMID: 23251384
11.  Regulation of insulin-like growth factor binding protein-5, four and a half lim-2, and a disintegrin and metalloprotease-9 expression in osteoblasts 
The roles of insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) in regulating growth and their modulation by six IGF binding proteins (IGFBP) are well established. IGFBP-5, the most abundant IGFBP stored in bone, is an important regulator of bone formation via IGF-dependent and -independent mechanisms. Two new proteins, four and a half lim (FHL)-2, a transcription modulator that interacts with IGFBP-5, and a disintegrin and metalloprotease (ADAM)-9, an IGFBP-5 protease, have been identified as potential regulators of IGFBP-5 action in bone. We tested the hypothesis that agents which modulate bone formation by regulating IGFBP-5 expression would also regulate FHL-2 and ADAM-9 expression in a coordinated manner. We evaluated the expression of IGFBP-5, FHL-2, and ADAM-9 by real-time reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR during differentiation of mouse bone marrow stromal cells into osteoblasts and in response to treatment with bone formation modulators in the LSaOS human osteosarcoma cell line. IGFBP-5 and FHL-2 increased 4.3- and 3.0-fold (P ≤ 0.01), respectively, during osteoblast differentiation. Dexamethasone (Dex), an inhibitor of bone formation, decreased IGFBP-5 and FHL-2 and increased ADAM-9 in LSaOS cells (P ≤ 0.05). Bone morphogenic protein (BMP)-7, a stimulator of bone formation, increased IGFBP-5 and decreased ADAM-9 (P < 0.01). To determine if BMP-7 would eliminate Dex inhibition of IGFBP-5, cells were treated with Dex + BMP-7. The BMP-7-induced increase in IGFBP-5 was reduced, but not eliminated, in the presence of Dex (P ≤ 0.01), indicating that BMP-7 and Dex may regulate IGFBP-5 via different mechanisms. Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β, a stimulator of bone formation, increased IGFBP-5 and FHL-2 expression (P ≤ 0.01). IGF-I and TNF-α decreased expression of ADAM-9 (P < 0.05). In conclusion, our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that FHL-2 and ADAM-9 are important modulators of IGFBP-5 actions and are, in part, regulated in a coordinated manner in bone.
PMCID: PMC2904509  PMID: 16311053
IGFBP-5; FHL-2; ADAM-9; Bone
12.  Expression of ADAMs and Their Inhibitors in Sputum from Patients with Asthma 
Molecular Medicine  2006;12(7-8):171-179.
ADAMs (a disintegrin and metalloprotease) constitute a family of cell surface proteins containing disintegrin and metalloprotease domains which associate features of adhesion molecules and proteases. ADAMTSs (a disintegrin and metalloprotease with thrombospondin motifs) bear thrombospondin type I motifs in C-terminal extremity, and most of them are secreted proteins. Because genetic studies have shown that ADAM-33 gene polymorphisms are associated with asthma, we designed this study to assess mRNA expression profile of several ADAM and ADAMTS proteases in sputum from patients with asthma and to investigate the relationship between expression of these proteases and asthma-associated inflammation and airway obstruction. mRNA expression profile of selected ADAM and ADAMTS proteinases (ADAM-8, -9, -10, -12, -15, -17, and -33; ADAMTS-1, -2, -15, -16, -17, -18, and -19), their physiological inhibitors TIMP-1 and TIMP-3, and RECK, a membrane-anchored MMP activity regulator, was obtained by RT-PCR analysis performed on cells collected by sputum induction from 21 patients with mild to moderate asthma and 17 healthy individuals. mRNA levels of ADAM-8, ADAM-9, ADAM-12, TIMP-1, and TIMP-3 were significantly increased, whereas mRNA levels coding for ADAMTS-1, ADAMTS-15, and RECK were significantly decreased in patients with asthma compared with control patients. ADAM-8 expression was negatively correlated with the forced expiratory volume at the first second (FEV1) (r = −0.57, P < 0.01), whereas ADAMTS-1 and RECK expressions were positively correlated to FEV1 (r = 0.45, P < 0.05, and r = 0.55, P = 0.01, respectively). We conclude that expression of ADAMs and ADAMTSs and their inhibitors is modulated in airways from patients with asthma and that these molecules may play a role in the pathogenesis of asthma.
PMCID: PMC1626598  PMID: 17088949
13.  Functional Analysis of a Breast Cancer-Associated Mutation in the Intracellular Domain of the Metalloprotease ADAM12 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e37628.
A recently identified breast cancer-associated mutation in the metalloprotease ADAM12 alters a potential dileucine trafficking signal, which could affect protein processing and cellular localization. ADAM12 belongs to the group of A Disintegrin And Metalloproteases (ADAMs), which are typically membrane-associated proteins involved in ectodomain shedding, cell-adhesion, and signaling. ADAM12 as well as several members of the ADAM family are over-expressed in various cancers, correlating with disease stage. Three breast cancer-associated somatic mutations were previously identified in ADAM12, and two of these, one in the metalloprotease domain and another in the disintegrin domain, were investigated and found to result in protein misfolding, retention in the secretory pathway, and failure of zymogen maturation. The third mutation, p.L792F in the ADAM12 cytoplasmic tail, was not investigated, but is potentially significant given its location within a di-leucine motif, which is recognized as a potential cellular trafficking signal. The present study was motivated both by the potential relevance of this documented mutation to cancer, as well as for determining the role of the di-leucine motif in ADAM12 trafficking. Expression of ADAM12 p.L792F in mammalian cells demonstrated quantitatively similar expression levels and zymogen maturation as wild-type (WT) ADAM12, as well as comparable cellular localizations. A cell surface biotinylation assay demonstrated that cell surface levels of ADAM12 WT and ADAM12 p.L792F were similar and that internalization of the mutant occurred at the same rate and extent as for ADAM12 WT. Moreover, functional analysis revealed no differences in cell proliferation or ectodomain shedding of epidermal growth factor (EGF), a known ADAM12 substrate between WT and mutant ADAM12. These data suggest that the ADAM12 p.L792F mutation is unlikely to be a driver (cancer causing)-mutation in breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC3360752  PMID: 22662180
14.  Expression of A disintegrin and metalloprotease 8 is associated with cell growth and poor survival in colorectal cancer 
BMC Cancer  2014;14(1):568.
A disintegrin and metalloprotease 8 (ADAM8) has been reported to be associated with various malignancies. However, no studies have examined ADAM8 association in colorectal cancer (CRC). The aim of this study was to investigate the expression and function of ADAM8 in CRC.
Expression level of ADAM8 in CRC was evaluated by quantitative RT-PCR, western blot and immunohistochemical staining analysis. The role of ADAM8 in colorectal carcinogenesis was evaluated by in vitro assays. The correlations between ADAM8 status and clinicopathological features including survival were analyzed.
ADAM8 was highly expressed in CRC tissues compared with adjacent normal tissues. Knockdown of ADAM8 in two CRC cell lines resulted in reduced cellular growth and proliferation, and increased apoptosis. Immunohistochemistry analysis showed no significant correlations of ADAM8 protein expression with clinicopathologic features. Survival analysis indicated that patients with ADAM8-positive tumors had worse 5-year overall survival (OS, p = 0.037) and 5-year disease free survival (DFS, p = 0.014) compared with those with ADAM8-negative tumors. Multivariate analysis indicated ADAM8 expression was an independent prognostic factor for both OS and DFS (both p< 0.001). Subgroup analysis showed that 5-year OS of colon cancer, T3-T4 stage and N0 stage was worse for patients with ADAM8-positive tumors than those with ADAM8-negative tumors (p< 0.05). The 5-year DFS in colon cancer, T3-T4 stage, N0 stage, TNM stage II, adenocarcinoma, moderate differentiation and male patient subgroups was also worse for patients with ADAM8-positive tumors than those with ADAM8-negative tumors (p < 0.05).
Our results show that ADAM8 is overexpressed in CRC, promotes cell growth and correlates with worse OS and DFS, and thus could serve as a biomarker for individual CRC patient therapy.
PMCID: PMC4141088  PMID: 25098630
Colorectal cancer; A disintegrin and metalloprotease 8 (ADAM8); Proliferation; Prognosis; Overall survival; Disease free survival
15.  TGF-β1 promotes motility and invasiveness of glioma cells through activation of ADAM17 
Oncology reports  2011;25(5):1329-1335.
The transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF-β1) belongs to a family of structurally related polypeptide factors. TGF-beta plays an important role in the pathobiology of invasion of malignant gliomas. The objective of the present study is to investigate the impact of TNF-α converting enzyme (TACE/ADAM17) signalling on the process of TGF-β1-stimulated migration and invasion of T98G glioma cells. We found that TGF-β1 increased migration and invasiveness in glioma cells. Addition of the TGF-β1 receptor inhibitor, SB431542, reduced the TGF-β1-stimulated migration and invasiveness of glioma cells. In addition, TGF-β1-induced migration and invasiveness were also blocked by exposure to an ADAM17 inhibitor, TAPI-2. Furthermore, ADAM17 mRNA and protein expression were up-regulated by TGF-β1. Treatment with SB431542 and TAPI-2 blocked TGF-β1-induced ADAM17 protein expression. In summary, these results indicate that TGF-β1 promotes cell migration and invasiveness of glioma cells through stimulation of ADAM17.
PMCID: PMC3070292  PMID: 21359495
glioma; TGF-β1; ADAM17; migration; invasion
16.  ADAM12: a Potential Target for the Treatment of Chronic Wounds 
Wound healing is a complex process involving multiple cellular events, including cell proliferation, migration, and tissue remodeling. ADAM12 (a disintegrin and metalloprotease 12) is a membrane-anchored metalloprotease, which has been implicated in activation/inactivation of growth factors that play an important role in wound healing, including heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor (HB-EGF) and insulin growth factor (IGF) binding proteins. Here we report that expression of ADAM12 is fivefold up-regulated in the non-healing edge of chronic ulcers compared to healthy skin, based on microarrays of biopsies taken from five patients and from healthy controls (p=0.013). The increase in ADAM12 expression in chronic ulcers was confirmed by quantitative real time-PCR. Moreover, immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated a pronounced increase in the membranous and intracellular signal for ADAM12 in the epidermis of chronic wounds compared to healthy skin. These findings, coupled with our previous observations that lack of keratinocyte migration contributes to the pathogenesis of chronic ulcers, prompted us to evaluate how the absence of ADAM12 affects the migration of mouse keratinocytes. Skin explants from newborn ADAM12−/− or WT mice were used to quantify keratinocyte migration out of the explants over a period of seven days. We found a statistically significant increase in the migration of ADAM12−/− keratinocytes compared to WT control (P=.0014) samples. Taken together, the upregulation of ADAM12 in chronic wounds, and the increased migration of keratinocytes in the absence of ADAM12 suggest that ADAM12 is an important mediator of wound healing. We hypothesize that increased expression of ADAM12 in chronic wounds impairs wound healing through the inhibition of keratinocyte migration, and that topical ADAM12 inhibitors may therefore prove useful for the treatment of chronic wounds.
PMCID: PMC2674959  PMID: 18604515
ADAM12; chronic ulcers; wound healing; keratinocyte migration
17.  ADAM17 silencing by adenovirus encoding miRNA-embedded siRNA revealed essential signal transduction by angiotensin II in vascular smooth muscle cells 
Small interfering RNA (siRNA) mediated gene silencing has been utilized as a powerful molecular tool to study the functional significance of a specific protein. However, due to transient gene silencing and insufficient transfection efficiency, this approach can be problematic in primary cell culture such as vascular smooth muscle cells. To overcome this weakness, we utilized an adenoviral-encoded microRNA (miRNA)-embedded siRNA “mi/siRNA”-based RNA interference. Here, we report the results of silencing a disintegrin and metalloprotease 17 (ADAM17) in cultured rat vascular smooth muscle cells and its functional mechanism in angiotensin II signal transduction. 3 distinct mi/siRNA sequences targeting rat ADAM17 were inserted into pAd/CMV/V5-DEST and adenoviral solutions were obtained. Nearly 90% silencing of ADAM17 was achieved when vascular smooth muscle cells were infected with 100 multiplicity of infection of each ADAM17 mi/siRNA encoding adenovirus for 3 days. mi/siRNA-ADAM17 but not mi/siRNA-control inhibited angiotensin II-induced epidermal growth factor receptor trans-activation and subsequent extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation and hypertrophic response in the cells. mi/siRNA-ADAM17 also inhibited angiotensin II-induced heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like factor shedding. This inhibition was rescued with co-infection of adenovirus encoding mouse ADAM17 but not by its cytosolic domain deletion mutant or cytosolic Y702F mutant. As expected, angiotensin II induced tyrosine phosphorylation of ADAM17 in the cells. In conclusion, ADAM17 activation via its tyrosine phosphorylation contributes to heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like factor shedding and subsequent growth promoting signals induced by angiotensin II in vascular smooth muscle cells. An artificial mi/siRNA-based adenoviral approach appears to be a reliable gene-silencing strategy for signal transduction research in primary cultured vascular cells.
PMCID: PMC3735780  PMID: 23688779
ADAM17; Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor; Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor; Signal Transduction; Vascular Biology
18.  Liver protective effect of ursodeoxycholic acid includes regulation of ADAM17 activity 
BMC Gastroenterology  2013;13:155.
Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) is used to treat primary biliary cirrhosis, intrahepatic cholestasis, and other cholestatic conditions. Although much has been learned about the molecular basis of the disease pathophysiology, our understanding of the effects of UDCA remains unclear. Possibly underlying its cytoprotective, anti-apoptotic, anti-oxidative effects, UDCA was reported to regulate the expression of TNFα and other inflammatory cytokines. However, it is not known if this effect involves also modulation of ADAM family of metalloproteinases, which are responsible for release of ectodomains of inflammatory cytokines from the cell surface. We hypothesized that UDCA modulates ADAM17 activity, resulting in amelioration of cholestasis in a murine model of bile duct ligation (BDL).
The effect of UDCA on ADAM17 activity was studied using the human liver hepatocellular carcinoma cell line HepG2. Untransfected cells or cells ectopically expressing human ADAM17 were cultured with or without UDCA and further activated using phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA). The expression and release of ADAM17 substrates, TNFα, TGFα, and c-Met receptor (or its soluble form, sMet) were evaluated using ELISA and quantitative real-time (qRT) PCR. Immunoblotting analyses were conducted to evaluate expression and activation of ADAM17 as well as the level of ERK1/2 phosphorylation after UDCA treatment. The regulation of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 (TIMP-1) by UDCA was studied using zymography and qRT-PCR. A mouse model of acute cholestasis was induced by common BDL technique, during which mice received daily orogastric gavage with either UDCA or vehicle only. Liver injury was quantified using alkaline phosphatase (ALP), relative liver weight, and confirmed by histological analysis. ADAM17 substrates in sera were assessed using a bead multiplex assay.
UDCA decreases amount of shed TNFα, TGFα, and sMet in cell culture media and the phosphorylation of ERK1/2. These effects are mediated by the reduction of ADAM17 activity in PMA stimulated cells although the expression ADAM17 is not affected. UDCA reduced the level of the mature form of ADAM17. Moreover, UDCA regulates the expression of TIMP-1 and gelatinases activity in PMA stimulated cells. A BDL-induced acute cholangitis model was characterized by increased relative liver weight, serum levels of ALP, sMet, and loss of intracellular glycogen. UDCA administration significantly decreased ALP and sMet levels, and reduced relative liver weight. Furthermore, hepatocytes of UDCA-treated animals retained their metabolic activity as evidenced by the amount of glycogen storage.
The beneficial effect of UDCA appears to be mediated in part by the inhibition of ADAM17 activation and, thus, the release of TNFα, a strong pro-inflammatory factor. The release of other ADAM17 substrates, TGFα and sMet, are also regulated this way, pointing to a general impact on the release of ADAM17 substrates, which are pivotal for liver regeneration and function. In parallel, UDCA upregulates TIMP-1 that in turn inhibits matrix metalloproteinases, which destroy the hepatic ECM in diseased liver. This control of extracellular matrix turnover represents an additional beneficial path of UDCA treatment.
PMCID: PMC3835136  PMID: 24172289
Ursodeoxycholic acid; ADAM17; Shedding; Cholestasis; Liver
19.  A transforming Src mutant increases the bioavailability of EGFR-ligands via stimulation of the cell surface metalloproteinase ADAM17 
Oncogene  2010;30(5):611-618.
ADAM17 (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase 17) is a cell-surface metalloproteinase that regulates signaling via the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and has important roles in diseases such as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. ADAM17 can be activated by stimulation of several tyrosine kinase receptors, raising questions about whether oncogenic tyrosine kinases could also enhance EGFR signaling and activation of ERK via stimulation of ADAM17. The main goal of this study was to evaluate the role of Src in activating ADAM17. We provide evidence that a constitutively active transforming form of Src, the E378G mutant, as well as v-Src enhance ADAM17-mediated shedding of the EGFR-ligand TGFα. Moreover, we demonstrate that constitutive shedding of TGFα can be reduced by inhibition of Src in several cell lines, including COS7, MCF7, PAE and HaCaT cells. Src(E378G)-stimulated shedding of TGFα is abolished in Adam17−/− cells, but can be rescued by wild type ADAM17 and a mutant ADAM17 lacking its cytoplasmic domain. These findings demonstrate that ADAM17 is the principal TGFα sheddase that is activated by Src in a manner that does not require the cytoplasmic domain of ADAM17. Finally, we show that stimulation of ADAM17 by Src(E378G) leads to enhanced paracrine signaling via release of EGFR-ligands into the culture supernatant. These results raise the possibility that activation of ADAM17 by oncogenic forms of Src can aid in promoting tumorigenesis by enhancing signaling via the EGFR and ERK in an autocrine and paracrine manner. Enhanced autocrine signaling could further activate tumor cells expressing oncogenic mutants of Src, whereas paracrine signaling could stimulate EGFR and ERK signaling in surrounding non-transformed cells such as stromal cells, thereby contributing to crosstalk between tumor cells and stromal cells.
PMCID: PMC3342068  PMID: 20871631
ADAM17; Src; EGF-receptor; EGF-receptor ligands; Protein ectodomain shedding; ERK
20.  Soluble Axl Is Generated by ADAM10-Dependent Cleavage and Associates with Gas6 in Mouse Serum†  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2005;25(21):9324-9339.
Axl receptor tyrosine kinase exists as a transmembrane protein and as a soluble molecule. We show that constitutive and phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate-induced generation of soluble Axl (sAxl) involves the activity of disintegrin-like metalloproteinase 10 (ADAM10). Spontaneous and inducible Axl cleavage was inhibited by the broad-spectrum metalloproteinase inhibitor GM6001 and by hydroxamate GW280264X, which is capable of blocking ADAM10 and ADAM17. Furthermore, murine fibroblasts deficient in ADAM10 expression exhibited a significant reduction in constitutive and inducible Axl shedding, whereas reconstitution of ADAM10 restored sAxl production, suggesting that ADAM10-mediated proteolysis constitutes a major mechanism for sAxl generation in mice. Partially overlapping 14-amino-acid stretch deletions in the membrane-proximal region of Axl dramatically affected sAxl generation, indicating that these regions are involved in regulating the access of the protease to the cleavage site. Importantly, relatively high circulating levels of sAxl are present in mouse sera in a heterocomplex with Axl ligand Gas6. Conversely, two other family members, Tyro3 and Mer, were not detected in mouse sera and conditioned medium. sAxl is constitutively released by murine primary cells such as dendritic and transformed cell lines. Upon immobilization, sAxl promoted cell migration and induced the phosphorylation of Axl and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. Thus, ADAM10-mediated generation of sAxl might play an important role in diverse biological processes.
PMCID: PMC1265819  PMID: 16227584
21.  A positive feedback loop between HER2 and ADAM12 in human head and neck cancer cells increases migration and invasion 
Oncogene  2011;31(23):2888-2898.
Increased activation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) family members such as HER2/Erbb2 can result in more aggressive disease, resistance to chemotherapy and reduced survival of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients. In order to identify mechanisms through which these receptor tyrosine kinases accelerate tumor progression, the regulation of metalloprotease expression by EGFR family members was investigated in 11 SCC cell lines. HER2 expression was significantly correlated with ADAM12 (A Disintegrin And Metalloprotease 12) expression in these cell lines and was co-expressed in human head and neck cancers. Inhibition of HER2 or EGFR decreased ADAM12 transcripts while HER2 transfection up-regulated ADAM12 expression. To understand the molecular mechanisms underlying HER2 regulation of ADAM12, we investigated the signaling pathways directing ADAM12 production in SCC cells. Inhibition of phosphatidyl inositol-3-kinase (PI3K) or mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) decreased ADAM12 transcripts in HER2-expressing SCC cells, while transfection with AKT increased ADAM12 mRNA. Experiments utilizing ADAM12 transfection or siRNA targeting of ADAM12 revealed that the protease increased both the migration and invasiveness of oral SCC cells. Surprisingly, ADAM12 also increased HER2 message, protein levels, and activity through an Ets1-dependent mechanism. Collectively, these results reveal a novel positive activation loop between ADAM12 and HER2 that may contribute to HNSCC progression.
PMCID: PMC3302945  PMID: 21986939
HER2; ADAM12; head and neck cancer; oral cancer; migration; invasion
22.  ADAM15 regulates endothelial permeability and neutrophil migration via Src/ERK1/2 signalling 
Cardiovascular Research  2010;87(2):348-355.
Endothelial barrier dysfunction is a key event in the pathogenesis of vascular diseases associated with inflammation. ADAM (a disintegrin and metalloprotease) 15 has been shown to contribute to the development of vascular inflammation. However, its role in regulating endothelial barrier function is unknown. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of ADAM15 on endothelial permeability and its underlying mechanisms.
Methods and results
By measuring albumin transendothelial flux and transendothelial electric resistance in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cell monolayers, we found that depletion of ADAM15 expression via siRNA decreased endothelial permeability and attenuated thrombin-induced barrier dysfunction. In contrast, endothelial cells overexpressing either wild-type or catalytically dead mutant ADAM15 displayed a higher basal permeability and augmented hyperpermeability in response to thrombin. In addition, ADAM15 knockdown inhibited whereas ADAM15 overexpression promoted neutrophil transendothelial migration. Further molecular assays revealed that ADAM15 did not cleave vascular endothelial-cadherin or cause its degradation. However, overexpression of ADAM15 promoted extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 phosphorylation in both non-stimulated and thrombin-stimulated endothelial cells in a protease activity-independent manner. Pharmacological inhibition of Src kinase or ERK activation reversed ADAM15-induced hyperpermeability and neutrophil transmigration.
The data provide evidence for a novel function of ADAM15 in regulating endothelial barrier properties. The mechanisms of ADAM15-induced hyperpermeability involve Src/ERK1/2 signalling independent of junction molecule shedding.
PMCID: PMC2895539  PMID: 20189953
Endothelial permeability; Metalloproteinase; Vascular inflammation; Signal transduction
23.  Surface expression and limited proteolysis of ADAM10 are increased by a dominant negative inhibitor of dynamin 
BMC Cell Biology  2011;12:20.
The amyloid precursor protein (APP) is cleaved by β- and γ-secretases to generate toxic amyloid β (Aβ) peptides. Alternatively, α-secretases cleave APP within the Aβ domain, precluding Aβ formation and releasing the soluble ectodomain, sAPPα. We previously showed that inhibition of the GTPase dynamin reduced APP internalization and increased release of sAPPα, apparently by prolonging the interaction between APP and α-secretases at the plasma membrane. This was accompanied by a reduction in Aβ generation. In the present study, we investigated whether surface expression of the α-secretase ADAM (a disintegrin and metalloprotease)10 is also regulated by dynamin-dependent endocytosis.
Transfection of human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells stably expressing M3 muscarinic receptors with a dominant negative dynamin I mutant (dyn I K44A), increased surface expression of both immature, and mature, catalytically active forms of co-expressed ADAM10. Surface levels of ADAM10 were unaffected by activation of protein kinase C (PKC) or M3 receptors, indicating that receptor-coupled shedding of the ADAM substrate APP is unlikely to be mediated by inhibition of ADAM10 endocytosis in this cell line. Dyn I K44A strongly increased the formation of a C-terminal fragment of ADAM10, consistent with earlier reports that the ADAM10 ectodomain is itself a target for sheddases. The abundance of this fragment was increased in the presence of a γ-secretase inhibitor, but was not affected by M3 receptor activation. The dynamin mutant did not affect the distribution of ADAM10 and its C-terminal fragment between raft and non-raft membrane compartments.
Surface expression and limited proteolysis of ADAM10 are regulated by dynamin-dependent endocytosis, but are unaffected by activation of signaling pathways that upregulate shedding of ADAM substrates such as APP. Modulation of ADAM10 internalization could affect cellular behavior in two ways: by altering the putative signaling activity of the ADAM10 C-terminal fragment, and by regulating the biological function of ADAM10 substrates such as APP and N-cadherin.
PMCID: PMC3118186  PMID: 21586144
a disintegrin and metalloprotease (ADAM)10; dynamin, amyloid precursor protein (APP); muscarinic receptor; protein kinase C (PKC); endocytosis
24.  ADAM10 Regulates Transcription Factor Expression Required for Plasma Cell Function 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e42694.
A disintegrin and metalloprotease 10 (ADAM10) is a key regulator of cellular processes by shedding extracellular domains of transmembrane proteins. We have previously demonstrated that deletion of B cell expressed ADAM10 results in changes in lymphoid tissue architecture and impaired germinal center (GC) formation. In this study, mice were generated in which ADAM10 is deleted in B cells following class switch recombination (ADAM10Δ/ΔIgG1-cre+/− mice). Despite normal GC formation, antibody responses were impaired in ADAM10Δ/ΔIgG1-cre+/− mice, implicating ADAM10 in post-GC and extrafollicular B cell terminal differentiation. Surprisingly, plasma cell (PC) numbers were normal in ADAM10Δ/ΔIgG1-cre+/− mice when compared to controls. However, PCs isolated from ADAM10Δ/ΔIgG1-cre+/− mice exhibited decreased expression of transcription factors important for PC function: Prdm1, Xbp1 and Irf4. Bcl6 is a GC transcriptional repressor that inhibits the PC transcriptional program and thus must be downregulated for PC differentiation to occur. Bcl6 expression was increased in PCs isolated from ADAM10Δ/ΔIgG1-cre+/− mice at both the mRNA and protein level. These results demonstrate that ADAM10 is required for proper transcription factor expression in PCs and thus, for normal PC function.
PMCID: PMC3411801  PMID: 22880085
25.  Chemotherapy-induced activation of ADAM-17: a novel mechanism of drug resistance in colorectal cancer 
We have shown previously that exposure to anticancer drugs can trigger the activation of human epidermal receptor (HER) survival pathways in colorectal cancer (CRC). In this study, we examined the role of ADAMs (a desintegrin and metalloproteases) and soluble growth factors in this acute drug resistance mechanism.
Experimental design:
In vitro and in vivo models of CRC were assessed. ADAM-17 activity was measured using a fluorometric assay. Ligand shedding was assessed by ELISA or Western blotting. Apoptosis was assessed by flow cytometry and Western blotting.
Chemotherapy (5-Fluorouracil, 5-FU) treatment resulted in acute increases in TGF-α-, amphiregulin- and heregulin-ligand shedding in vitro and in vivo that correlated with significantly increased ADAM-17 activity. siRNA-mediated silencing and pharmacological inhibition confirmed that ADAM-17 was the principal ADAM involved in this pro-survival response. Furthermore, overexpression of ADAM-17 significantly decreased the effect of chemotherapy on tumour growth and apoptosis. Mechanistically, we found that ADAM-17 not only regulated phosphorylation of HERs, but also increased the activity of a number of other growth factor receptors, such as IGF-1R and VEGFR.
Chemotherapy acutely activates ADAM-17 which results in growth factor shedding, growth factor receptor activation and drug resistance in CRC tumours. Thus, pharmacological inhibition of ADAM-17 in conjunction with chemotherapy may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of CRC.
PMCID: PMC2896550  PMID: 20570921
chemotherapy; ADAM-17; TGF-α; phospho-EGFR; colorectal cancer

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