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Anal Biochem. 2008 Feb 1;373(1):43-51. Epub 2007 Sep 15.

Screening of potential a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs-4 inhibitors using a collagen model fluorescence resonance energy transfer substrate.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA.


The major components of the cartilage extracellular matrix are type II collagen and aggrecan. Type II collagen provides cartilage with its tensile strength, whereas the water-binding capacity of aggrecan provides compressibility and elasticity. Aggrecan breakdown leads to an increase in proteolytic susceptibility of articular collagen; hence, aggrecan may also have a protective effect on type II collagen. Given their role in aggrecan degradation and differing substrate specificity profiles, the pursuit of inhibitors for both aggrecanase 1 (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs-4 [ADAMTS-4]) and aggrecanase 2 (ADAMTS-5) is desirable. We previously described collagen model fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) substrates for aggrecan-degrading members of the ADAMTS family. These FRET substrate assays are also fully compatible with multiwell formats. In the current study, a collagen model FRET substrate was examined for inhibitor screening of ADAMTS-4. ADAMTS-4 was screened against a small compound library (n=960) with known pharmacological activity. Five compounds that inhibited ADAMTS-4>60% at a concentration of 1muM were identified. A secondary screen using reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) was developed and performed for verification of the five potential inhibitors. Ultimately, piceatannol was confirmed as a novel inhibitor of ADAMTS-4, with an IC(50) value of 1muM. Because the collagen model FRET substrates have distinct conformational features that may interact with protease secondary substrate sites (exosites), nonactive site-binding inhibitors can be identified via this approach. Selective inhibitors for ADAMTS-4 would allow a more definitive evaluation of this protease in osteoarthritis and also represent a potential next generation in metalloproteinase therapeutics.

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