The Journal of biological chemistry

ADAM10 mediates ectodomain shedding of the betacellulin precursor activated by p-aminophenylmercuric acetate and extracellular calcium influx.

PMID 15507448


Betacellulin belongs to the family of epidermal growth factor-like growth factors that are expressed as transmembrane precursors and undergo proteolytic ectodomain shedding to release a soluble mature growth factor. In this study, we investigated the ectodomain shedding of the betacellulin precursor (pro-BTC) in conditionally immortalized wild-type (WT) and ADAM-deficient cell lines. Sequential ectodomain cleavage of the predominant cell-surface 40-kDa form of pro-BTC generated a major (26-28 kDa) and two minor (20 and 15 kDa) soluble forms and a cellular remnant lacking the ectodomain (12 kDa). Pro-BTC shedding was activated by calcium ionophore (A23187) and by the metalloprotease activator p-aminophenylmercuric acetate (APMA), but not by phorbol esters. Culturing cells in calcium-free medium or with the protein kinase Cdelta inhibitor rottlerin, but not with broad-based protein kinase C inhibitors, blocked A23187-activated pro-BTC shedding. These same treatments were without effect for constitutive and APMA-induced cleavage events. All pro-BTC shedding was blocked by treatment with a broad-spectrum metalloprotease inhibitor (GM6001). In addition, constitutive and activated pro-BTC shedding was differentially blocked by TIMP-1 or TIMP-3, but was insensitive to treatment with TIMP-2. Pro-BTC shedding was functional in cells from ADAM17- and ADAM9-deficient mice and in cells overexpressing WT or catalytically inactive ADAM17. In contrast, overexpression of WT ADAM10 enhanced constitutive and activated shedding of pro-BTC, whereas overexpression of catalytically inactive ADAM10 reduced shedding. These results demonstrate, for the first time, activated pro-BTC shedding in response to extracellular calcium influx and APMA and provide evidence that ADAM10 mediates constitutive and activated pro-BTC shedding.