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J Biol Chem. 2010 Apr 2;285(14):10376-84. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.055947. Epub 2010 Jan 25.

An arginine stretch limits ADAM10 exit from the endoplasmic reticulum.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacological Sciences and Centre of Excellence on Neurodegenerative Diseases, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Balzaretti 9, 20133 Milan, Italy.


A disintegrin and metalloproteinase 10 (ADAM10) is a type I transmembrane glycoprotein responsible for the ectodomain shedding of a number of proteins implicated in the pathogenesis of diseases ranging from cancer to Alzheimer Disease. ADAM10 is synthesized in an inactive form, which is proteolytically activated during its forward transport along the secretory pathway and at the plasma membrane. Therefore, modulation of its trafficking could provide a mechanism to finely tune its shedding activity. Here we report the identification of an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) retention motif within the ADAM10 intracellular C-terminal tail. Sequential deletion/mutagenesis analyses showed that an arginine-rich ((723)RRR) sequence was responsible for the retention of ADAM10 in the ER and its inefficient surface trafficking. Mutating the second arginine to alanine was sufficient to allow ER exit and surface expression in both heterologous cells and hippocampal neurons. As synapse-associated protein 97 (SAP97) binds ADAM10 at its cytoplasmic tail and facilitates forward ADAM10 trafficking in neurons, we tested whether SAP97 could modulate ER export. However, neither expression nor Ser-39 phosphorylation of SAP97 in heterologous cells or hippocampal neurons were sufficient to allow the ER exit of ADAM10, suggesting that other signaling pathways or alternative binding partners are responsible for ADAM10 ER exit. Together, these results identify a novel mechanism regulating the intracellular trafficking and membrane delivery of ADAM10.

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