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1.  A Disintegrin-Like and Metalloprotease Domain Containing Thrombospondin Type 1 Motif-like 5 (ADAMTSL5) is a novel fibrillin-1-, fibrillin-2-, and heparin-binding member of the ADAMTS superfamily containing a netrin-like module 
ADAMTS-like proteins are related to ADAMTS metalloproteases by their similarity to ADAMTS ancillary domains. Here, we have characterized ADAMTSL5, a novel member of the superfamily with a unique modular organization that includes a single C-terminal netrin-like (NTR) module. Alternative splicing of ADAMTSL5 at its 5′ end generates two transcripts that encode different signal peptides, but the same mature protein. These transcripts differ in their translational efficiency. Recombinant ADAMTSL5 is a secreted, N-glycosylated 60 kDa glycoprotein located in the subcellular matrix, on the cell-surface, and in the medium of transfected cells. RT-PCR and western blot analysis of adult mouse tissues showed broad expression. Western blot analysis suggested proteolytic release of the NTR module in transfected cells as well as in some mouse tissues. Immunostaining during mouse organogenesis identified ADAMTSL5 in musculoskeletal tissues such as skeletal muscle, cartilage and bone, as well as in many epithelia. Affinity-chromatography demonstrated heparin-binding of ADAMTSL5 through its NTR-module. Recombinant ADAMTSL5 bound to both fibrillin-1 and fibrillin-2, and co-localized with fibrillin microfibrils in the extracellular matrix of cultured fibroblasts, but without discernible effect on microfibril assembly. ADAMTSL5 is the first family member shown to bind both fibrillin-1 and fibrillin-2. Like other ADAMTS proteins implicated in microfibril biology through identification of human and animal mutations, ADAMTSL5 could have a role in modulating microfibril functions.
PMCID: PMC3546522  PMID: 23010571
ADAMTS; ADAMTS-like; netrin-like module; fibrillin microfibril; heparin; alternative splicing
2.  Systemic VHL gene functions and the VHL disease 
Febs Letters  2012;586(11):1562-1569.
The von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor gene (VHL) is best known as an E3 ubiquitin ligase that negatively regulates the hypoxia inducible factor (HIF). VHL mutations are the genetic defects underlying several human diseases including polycythemia, familial VHL tumor syndrome and sporadic renal cell carcinoma. VHL mutations can lead to cell-autonomous phenotypes in the tumor cells. However, non-tumor cell-autonomous functions of VHL have also been noted. VHL tumor-derived cytokines can promote inflammation and induce mobilization of endothelial progenitor cells. Up-regulation of HIF caused by VHL loss-of-function mutants, including heterozygotes, has been shown to increase the activities of hematopoietic stem cells, endothelial cells and myeloid cells. As such, systemic functions of VHL likely play important roles in the development of VHL disease.
PMCID: PMC3372859  PMID: 22673568
Erythropoietin; Hematopoiesis; Hemangioblastoma; Haploid insufficiency; Inflammation
3.  An ADAMTSL2 Founder Mutation Causes Musladin-Lueke Syndrome, a Heritable Disorder of Beagle Dogs, Featuring Stiff Skin and Joint Contractures 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(9):e12817.
Musladin-Lueke Syndrome (MLS) is a hereditary disorder affecting Beagle dogs that manifests with extensive fibrosis of the skin and joints. In this respect, it resembles human stiff skin syndrome and the Tight skin mouse, each of which is caused by gene defects affecting fibrillin-1, a major component of tissue microfibrils. The objective of this work was to determine the genetic basis of MLS and the molecular consequence of the identified mutation.
Methodology and Principal Findings
We mapped the locus for MLS by genome-wide association to a 3.05 Mb haplotype on canine chromosome 9 (CFA9 (50.11–54.26; praw <10−7)), which was homozygous and identical-by-descent among all affected dogs, consistent with recessive inheritance of a founder mutation. Sequence analysis of a candidate gene at this locus, ADAMTSL2, which is responsible for the human TGFβ dysregulation syndrome, Geleophysic Dysplasia (GD), uncovered a mutation in exon 7 (c.660C>T; p.R221C) perfectly associated with MLS (p-value = 10−12). Murine ADAMTSL2 containing the p.R221C mutation formed anomalous disulfide-bonded dimers when transiently expressed in COS-1, HEK293F and CHO cells, and was present in the medium of these cells at lower levels than wild-type ADAMTSL2 expressed in parallel.
The genetic basis of MLS is a founder mutation in ADAMTSL2, previously shown to interact with latent TGF-β binding protein, which binds fibrillin-1. The molecular effect of the founder mutation on ADAMTSL2 is formation of disulfide-bonded dimers. Although caused by a distinct mutation, and having a milder phenotype than human GD, MLS nevertheless offers a new animal model for study of GD, and for prospective insights on mechanisms and pathways of skin fibrosis and joint contractures.
PMCID: PMC2941456  PMID: 20862248

Results 1-3 (3)