ADAMs (a disintegrin and metalloprotease) are a family of cell surface proteins related to the Class III snake venom metalloproteases (SVMP). ADAMs are members of the Metazincin family which includes the matrix matalloproteases and the ADAMTS proteins. Unlike their snake venom relatives, ADAMs are expressed as transmembrane cell surface proteins. The domain structure of ADAMs suggests that these proteins posses both proteolytic and adhesive functions. Several members of the ADAM protein family have been shown to be involved in ectodomain shedding of many important cell surface proteins resulting in the release of biologically active soluble factors. The carboxyl-terminal domains, especially the disintegrin-like domain of ADAMs, have been demonstrated to support cell adhesion. The disintegrin-like domains of many ADAMs are capable of acting as integrin ligands. Integrins known to interact with ADAM disintegrin-like domains include α4β1, α4β7, α5β1, α6β1, α9β1, αvβ3, and αvβ5. This integrin mediated interaction of the disintegrin-like domains with the cell surface suggests that ADAMs may function as cellular counter receptors. In this review we discuss the individual functions ascribed to members of the ADAM family especially those related to integrin interactions and the potential for integrin mediated regulation of ectodomain shedding.
Keywords: envenomation, trimeresurus gramineus, extracellular matrix, adhesion receptors, immunity, metalloprotease domains
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