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J Biol Chem. 2000 May 5;275(18):13933-9.

Binding of ADAM12, a marker of skeletal muscle regeneration, to the muscle-specific actin-binding protein, alpha -actinin-2, is required for myoblast fusion.

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  • 1Burnham Institute, La Jolla Cancer Research Center, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


ADAM12 belongs to the transmembrane metalloprotease ADAM ("a disintegrin and metalloprotease") family. ADAM12 has been implicated in muscle cell differentiation and fusion, but its precise function remains unknown. Here, we show that ADAM12 is dramatically up-regulated in regenerated, newly formed fibers in vivo. In C2C12 cells, ADAM12 is expressed at low levels in undifferentiated myoblasts and is transiently up-regulated at the onset of differentiation when myoblasts fuse into multinucleated myotubes, whereas other ADAMs, such as ADAMs 9, 10, 15, 17, and 19, are expressed at all stages of differentiation. Using the yeast two-hybrid screen, we found that the muscle-specific alpha-actinin-2 strongly binds to the cytoplasmic tail of ADAM12. In vitro binding assays with GST fusion proteins confirmed the specific interaction. The major binding site for alpha-actinin-2 was mapped to a short sequence in the membrane-proximal region of ADAM12 cytoplasmic tail; a second binding site was identified in the membrane-distal region. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments confirm the in vivo association of ADAM12 cytoplasmic domain with alpha-actinin-2. Overexpression of the entire cytosolic ADAM12 tail acted in a dominant negative fashion by inhibiting fusion of C2C12 cells, whereas expression of a cytosolic ADAM12 lacking the major alpha-actinin-2 binding site had no effect on cell fusion. Our results suggest that interaction of ADAM12 with alpha-actinin-2 is important for ADAM12 function.

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