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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2005 Jan;25(1):180-5. Epub 2004 Nov 11.

Role of ADAMTS-1 in atherosclerosis: remodeling of carotid artery, immunohistochemistry, and proteolysis of versican.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Pharmacology, AstraZeneca, R&D, Mölndal, Sweden.



We investigated the potential role of ADAMTS-1 (a disintegrin and metalloprotease with thrombospondin motif type I) in atherogenesis.


ADAMTS-1 is expressed at the highest levels in the aorta when compared with other human tissues examined. Immunolocalization studies in human aorta and coronary artery indicate that ADAMTS-1 expression is mainly seen at low levels in the medial layer, but upregulated in the intima when plaque is present. We found that ADAMTS-1 mRNA levels are significantly higher in proliferating/migrating cultured primary aortic vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) compared with resting/confluent cells. Using the mouse carotid artery flow cessation model, we show that there are differences in vessel remodeling in ADAMTS-1 transgenic/apoE-deficient mice compared with apoE deficiency alone, particularly a significant increase in intimal hyperplasia. We show that ADAMTS-1 can cleave the large versican containing proteoglycan population purified from cultured human aortic VSMCs. Finally, using versican peptide substrates, we show data suggesting that ADAMTS-1 cleaves versican at multiple sites.


We hypothesize that ADAMTS-1 may promote atherogenesis by cleaving extracellular matrix proteins such as versican and promoting VSMC migration.

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