Rearranging exosites in noncatalytic domains can redirect the substrate specificity of ADAMTS proteases

Weiqiang Gao, Jian Zhu, Lisa A. Westfield, Elodee A. Tuley, Patricia J. Anderson, J. Evan Sadler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


ADAMTS proteases typically employ some combination of ancillary C-terminal disintegrin-like, thrombospondin-1, cysteine-rich, and spacer domains to bind substrates and facilitate proteolysis by an N-terminal metalloprotease domain. We constructed chimeric proteases and substrates to examine the role of C-terminal domains of ADAMTS13 and ADAMTS5 in the recognition of their physiological cleavage sites in von Willebrand factor (VWF) and aggrecan, respectively. ADAMTS5 cleaves Glu373-Ala374 and Glu 1480-Gly1481 bonds in bovine aggrecan but does not cleave VWF. Conversely, ADAMTS13 cleaves the Tyr1605-Met1606 bond of VWF, which is exposed by fluid shear stress but cannot cleave aggrecan. Replacing the thrombospondin-1/cysteine-rich/spacer domains of ADAMTS5 with those of ADAMTS13 conferred the ability to cleave the Glu1615- Ile1616 bond of VWF domain A2 in peptide substrates or VWF multimers that had been sheared; native (unsheared) VWF multimers were resistant. Thus, by recombining exosites, we engineered ADAMTS5 to cleave a new bond in VWF, preserving physiological regulation by fluid shear stress. The results demonstrate that noncatalytic thrombospondin-1/cysteine-rich/spacer domains are principal modifiers of substrate recognition and cleavage by both ADAMTS5 and ADAMTS13. Noncatalytic domains may perform similar functions in other ADAMTS family members.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26944-26952
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 3 2012


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