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Am J Hum Genet. 2013 Mar 7;92(3):366-74. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2013.01.012. Epub 2013 Feb 14.

ADAMTS7 cleavage and vascular smooth muscle cell migration is affected by a coronary-artery-disease-associated variant.

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William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK.


Recent genome-wide association studies have revealed an association between variation at the ADAMTS7 locus and susceptibility to coronary artery disease (CAD). Furthermore, in a population-based study cohort, we observed an inverse association between atherosclerosis prevalence and rs3825807, a nonsynonymous SNP (A to G) leading to a Ser-to-Pro substitution in the prodomain of the protease ADAMTS7. In light of these data, we sought a mechanistic explanation for this association. We found that ADAMTS7 accumulated in smooth muscle cells in coronary and carotid atherosclerotic plaques. Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) of the G/G genotype for rs3825807 had reduced migratory ability, and conditioned media of VSMCs of the G/G genotype contained less of the cleaved form of thrombospondin-5, an ADAMTS7 substrate that had been shown to be produced by VSMCs and inhibit VSMC migration. Furthermore, we found that there was a reduction in the amount of cleaved ADAMTS7 prodomain in media conditioned by VSMCs of the G/G genotype and that the Ser-to-Pro substitution affected ADAMTS7 prodomain cleavage. The results of our study indicate that rs3825807 has an effect on ADAMTS7 maturation, thrombospondin-5 cleavage, and VSMC migration, with the variant associated with protection from atherosclerosis and CAD rendering a reduction in ADAMTS7 function.

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