Metalloprotease domain latency protects ADAMTS13 against broad-spectrum inhibitors of metalloproteases while maintaining activity toward VWF Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: ADAMTS13 is a circulating metalloprotease that cleaves von Willebrand factor (VWF) in a shear-dependent manner. ADAMTS13 is secreted as an active protease but has a long half-life, suggesting that it is resistant to circulating protease inhibitors. These zymogen-like properties indicate that ADAMTS13 exists as a latent protease that is activated by its substrate. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the mechanism of ADAMTS13 latency and resistance to metalloprotease inhibitors. METHODS: Probe the active site of ADAMTS13 and variants using alpha-2 macroglobulin (A2M), tissue inhibitors of metalloproteases (TIMPs), and Marimastat. RESULTS: ADAMTS13 and C-terminal deletion mutants are not inhibited by A2M, TIMPs, or Marimastat, but cleave FRETS-VWF73, suggesting that the metalloprotease domain is latent in the absence of substrate. Within the metalloprotease domain, mutating the gatekeeper triad (R193, D217, D252) or substituting the calcium-binding (R180-R193) or the variable (G236-S263) loops with corresponding features from ADAMTS5 did not sensitize MDTCS to inhibition. However, substituting the calcium-binding loop and an extended variable loop (G236-S263) corresponding to the S1-S1' pockets with those from ADAMTS5, resulted in MDTCS-GVC5 inhibition by Marimastat, but not by A2M or TIMP3. Substituting the MD domains of ADAMTS5 into full-length ADAMTS13 resulted in a 50-fold reduction in activity compared with the substitution into MDTCS. However, both chimeras were susceptible to inhibition, suggesting that the closed conformation does not contribute to the latency of the metalloprotease domain. CONCLUSION: The metalloprotease domain protects ADAMTS13 from inhibitors and exists in a latent state that is partially maintained by loops flanking the S1 and S1' specificity pockets.


  • Singh, Kanwal
  • Madarati, Hasam
  • Sohrabipour, Sahar
  • Sparring, Taylor
  • Teney, Cherie
  • Kretz, Colin

publication date

  • July 2023