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Eur J Biochem. 2001 Apr;268(7):2074-82.

Processing of tumor necrosis factor by the membrane-bound TNF-alpha-converting enzyme, but not its truncated soluble form.

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Department of Genetics, Osaka University Medical School, and Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology, Japan Science and Technology Corporation, Osaka, Japan.


Tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha-converting enzyme (TACE) is a membrane protein belonging to the ADAM (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase) family that cleaves various membrane proteins, including the proform of TNF-alpha. In this study, we constructed expression vectors for the membrane-bound full-length TACE (mTACE) and its truncated soluble form (sTACE). When a human TNF-alpha expression vector was introduced into human 293 cells, processing of TNF-alpha to its mature form was enhanced by coexpressing mTACE, and this processing was inhibited by a metalloproteinase inhibitor. On the other hand, coexpression of sTACE had no effect on the processing of TNF-alpha, although the culture medium of sTACE-transfected cells could cleave a peptide containing the TNF-alpha cleavage site. Fas ligand (FasL)-transfected 293 cells released a considerable amount of soluble FasL, and coexpression of neither mTACE nor sTACE enhanced this shedding. Immunoprecipitation and Western blotting analysis with cells that were cotransfected with TACE and TNF-alpha indicated that both mTACE and sTACE could interact with the proform of TNF-alpha. In the same assay, neither mTACE nor sTACE interacted with FasL. The catalytic domain-lacking TACE mutant, which could also interact TNF-alpha, showed a dominant negative effect on not only TNF-alpha secretion but also FasL secretion. These results suggest that binding of the membrane-anchored but not the soluble form of TACE to TNF-alpha results in efficient ectodomain shedding, and that FasL secretase is a metalloproteinase similar, but not identical, to TACE.

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