Regulated ADAM17-dependent EGF family ligand release by substrate-selecting signaling pathways

Michelle Dang, Nicole Armbruster, Miles A. Miller, Efrain Cermeno, Monika Hartmann, George W. Bell, David E. Root, Douglas A. Lauffenburger, Harvey F. Lodish, Andreas Herrlich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Ectodomain cleavage of cell-surface proteins by A disintegrin and metalloproteinases (ADAMs) is highly regulated, and its dysregulation has been linked to many diseases. ADAM10 and ADAM17 cleave most disease-relevant substrates. Broad-spectrum metalloprotease inhibitors have failed clinically, and targeting the cleavage of a specific substrate has remained impossible. It is therefore necessary to identify signaling intermediates that determine substrate specificity of cleavage. We show here that phorbol ester or angiotensin II-induced proteolytic release of EGF family members may not require a significant increase in ADAM17 protease activity. Rather, inducers activate a signaling pathway using PKC-α and the PKC-regulated protein phosphatase 1 inhibitor 14D that is required for ADAM17 cleavage of TGF-α, heparin-binding EGF, and amphiregulin. A second pathway involving PKC-δ is required for neuregulin (NRG) cleavage, and, indeed, PKC-δ phosphorylation of serine 286 in the NRG cytosolic domain is essential for induced NRG cleavage. Thus, signaling-mediated substrate selection is clearly distinct from regulation of enzyme activity, an important mechanism that offers itself for application in disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9776-9781
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 11 2013


  • Epidermal growth factor receptor
  • Transactivation


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