DNA and cell biology

Molecular cloning, tissue distribution, and chromosomal localization of MMEL2, a gene coding for a novel human member of the neutral endopeptidase-24.11 family.

PMID 11560781


Members of the neutral endopeptidase (NEP, also known as MME for membrane metallo-endopeptidase in the Human Gene Nomenclature database) family play significant roles in pain perception, arterial pressure regulation, phosphate metabolism, and homeostasis. In this paper, we report the cloning of a new human member of the NEP family that we named MMEL2 for membrane metallo-endopeptidase-like 2. The MMEL2 protein has the structural characteristics of type II transmembrane proteins, although the presence of a furin-like cleavage site in the ectodomain suggests that it may be released into the medium following proteolytic cleavage. The MMEL2 protein contains the zinc-binding consensus sequence HEXXH and all the residues known to be essential for the enzymatic activity of other members of the family. The MMEL2 mRNA was detected predominantly in testis, but weak expression also was observed in brain, kidney, and heart. The human MMEL2 gene was mapped to 1p36 by fluorescence in situ hybridization. It will be important to test whether MMEL2 defects are associated with diseases such as hereditary motor sensory neuropathy 2A, Schwartz-Jampel-Aberfeld syndrome, or neuroblastoma, which all map to this locus.