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J Biol Chem. 1999 Aug 13;274(33):23349-57.

METH-1, a human ortholog of ADAMTS-1, and METH-2 are members of a new family of proteins with angio-inhibitory activity.

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  • 1Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, UCLA, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.


We have studied two related proteins that contain a repeated amino acid motif homologous to the anti-angiogenic type 1 repeats of thrombospondin-1 (TSP1). Complete sequence analysis revealed no other similarities with TSP1, but identified unique signal sequences, as well as metalloprotease and disintegrin-like domains in the NH(2) termini. We named these proteins METH-1 and METH-2 due to the novel combination of metalloprotease and thrombospondin domains. Overall amino acid sequence identity between METH-1 and METH-2 is 51. 7%, yet transcript distribution revealed non-overlapping patterns of expression in tissues and cultured cell lines. To characterize these proteins functionally, we isolated full-length cDNAs, produced recombinant protein, and generated antisera to the recombinant proteins. Both METH-1 and METH-2 represent single copy genes, which encode secreted and proteolytically processed proteins. METH proteins suppressed fibroblast growth factor-2-induced vascularization in the cornea pocket assay and inhibited vascular endothelial growth factor-induced angiogenesis in the chorioallantoic membrane assay. Suppression of vessel growth in both assays was considerably greater than that mediated by either thrombospondin-1 or endostatin on a molar basis. Consistent with an endothelial specific response, METH-1 and METH-2 were shown to inhibit endothelial cell proliferation, but not fibroblast or smooth muscle growth. We propose that METH-1 and METH-2 represent a new family of proteins with metalloprotease, disintegrin, and thrombospondin domains. The distinct distribution of each gene product suggests that each has evolved distinct regulatory mechanisms that potentially allow for fine control of activity during distinct physiological and pathological states.

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