Purification and Cloning of Aggrecanase-1: A Member of the ADAMTS Family of Proteins

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Science  04 Jun 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5420, pp. 1664-1666
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5420.1664

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We purified, cloned, and expressed aggrecanase, a protease that is thought to be responsible for the degradation of cartilage aggrecan in arthritic diseases. Aggrecanase-1 [a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs–4 (ADAMTS-4)] is a member of the ADAMTS protein family that cleaves aggrecan at the glutamic acid-373–alanine-374 bond. The identification of this protease provides a specific target for the development of therapeutics to prevent cartilage degradation in arthritis.

  • * Present address: Department of Cancer Cell Research, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108–8639, Japan.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: elizabeth.c.arner{at}

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