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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2002 May 3;293(2):800-5.

A secreted form of human ADAM9 has an alpha-secretase activity for APP.

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Department of Life Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 3-8-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8902, Japan.


ADAM9 (MDC9, meltrin gamma) is a member of the ADAM family of metalloproteases, which play important roles in cell-cell fusion, intracellular signaling, and other cellular functions. Here we cloned a novel form of human ADAM9, designated hADAM9s (s for short), which lacks the carboxyl-terminus. Human ADAM9s was found to be secreted from transfected COS cells. RT-PCR analysis demonstrated that the mRNA for hADAM9s is expressed in human brain, liver, heart, kidney, lung, and trachea. When hADAM9s was co-expressed in COS cells with APP and treated with phorbol ester, the APP was digested exclusively at the alpha-secretory site. These results suggest that hADAM9s has an alpha-secretase-like activity for APP. Non-amyloidgenic cleavage of APP may occur at the plasma membrane. Our new results support a new therapeutic strategy to decrease in the Abeta content by directly activating ADAM9 in the extracellular space.

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