Gene Summary

Gene:ADAM12; ADAM metallopeptidase domain 12
Aliases: MCMP, MLTN, CAR10, MLTNA, MCMPMltna, ADAM12-OT1
Summary:This gene encodes a member of a family of proteins that are structurally related to snake venom disintegrins and have been implicated in a variety of biological processes involving cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions, including fertilization, muscle development, and neurogenesis. Expression of this gene has been used as a maternal serum marker for pre-natal development. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants encoding different isoforms. Shorter isoforms are secreted, while longer isoforms are membrane-bound form. [provided by RefSeq, Jan 2014]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:disintegrin and metalloproteinase domain-containing protein 12
Source:NCBIAccessed: 06 August, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 06 August 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Phenotype
  • Proteolysis
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Chromosome 10
  • Disintegrins
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Xenograft Models
  • Angiogenesis
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor
  • Gene Expression
  • Phosphorylation
  • Messenger RNA
  • Signal Transduction
  • Young Adult
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Estrogen Receptors
  • Western Blotting
  • Membrane Proteins
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Transfection
  • Metalloendopeptidases
  • Tumor Markers
  • Mutation
  • Disease Progression
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • RT-PCR
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Stromal Cells
  • Breast Cancer
  • Cell Movement
  • Phenylalanine
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Tamoxifen
  • ADAM Proteins
Tag cloud generated 06 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (2)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: ADAM12 (cancer-related)

Guo H, Zhang X, Dong R, et al.
Integrated analysis of long noncoding RNAs and mRNAs reveals their potential roles in the pathogenesis of uterine leiomyomas.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(18):8625-36 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Global expression profiling studies showed that miRNAs are aberrantly expressed in uterine leiomyomas (ULMs) and are involved in ULM pathogenesis. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are another group of regulatory RNA whose expression and roles in ULMs have not been explored. In this study, we examined the global expressions of lncRNAs and mRNAs in ULMs using microarray and interrogated their interrelationship through co-expression analysis. We found that lncRNAs and mRNAs were dysregulated in ULMs and the degree of dysregulation was positively correlated with tumor size. Further analysis showed that lncRNAs correlate to their cis mRNAs in expression levels depending on genomic locations and orientations. Moreover, we identified several dysregulated pathways that were correlated to dysregulated lncRNAs. We validated several aberrantly expressed lncRNAs in extended samples and confirmed that AK023096 was down-regulated and chromatin-associated RNA (CAR) Intergenic 10 was up-regulated in the majority of leiomyomas. Knockdown of Intergenic 10 inhibited the proliferation of leiomyoma cells in vitro, indicating its functional importance in ULM pathogenesis. The neighboring protein-coding gene ADAM12 was also downregulated in Intergenic 10 knockdown leiomyoma cells. We showed for the first time that lncRNAs were dysregulated in uterine leiomyomas. Aberrantly expressed lncRNAs may contribute to the pathogenesis of uterine leiomyomas.

Qi Y, Duhachek-Muggy S, Li H, Zolkiewska A
Phenotypic diversity of breast cancer-related mutations in metalloproteinase-disintegrin ADAM12.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(3):e92536 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Six different somatic missense mutations in the human ADAM12 gene have been identified so far in breast cancer. Five of these mutations involve highly conserved residues in the extracellular domain of the transmembrane ADAM12-L protein. Two of these extracellular mutations, D301H and G479E, have been previously characterized in the context of mouse ADAM12. Three other mutations, T596A, R612Q, and G668A, have been reported more recently, and their effects on ADAM12-L protein structure/function are not known. Here, we show that ADAM12-L bearing the G668A mutation is largely retained in the endoplasmic reticulum in its nascent, full-length form, with an intact N-terminal pro-domain. The T596A and R612Q mutants are efficiently trafficked to the cell surface and proteolytically processed to remove their pro-domains. However, the T596A mutant shows decreased catalytic activity at the cell surface, while the R612Q mutant is fully active and comparable to the wild-type ADAM12-L. The D301H and G479E mutants, consistent with the corresponding D299H and G477E mutants of mouse ADAM12 described earlier, are not proteolytically processed and do not exhibit catalytic activity at the cell surface. Among all six breast cancer-associated mutations in ADAM12-L, mutations that preserve the activity--R612Q and L792F--occur in triple-negative breast cancers, while loss-of-function mutations--D301H, G479E, T596A, and G668A--are found in non-triple negative cancers. This apparent association between the catalytic activity of the mutants and the type of breast cancer supports a previously postulated role of an active ADAM12-L in the triple negative breast cancer disease.

Misemer BS, Skubitz AP, Carlos Manivel J, et al.
Expression of FAP, ADAM12, WISP1, and SOX11 is heterogeneous in aggressive fibromatosis and spatially relates to the histologic features of tumor activity.
Cancer Med. 2014; 3(1):81-90 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Aggressive fibromatosis (AF) represents a group of tumors with a variable and unpredictable clinical course, characterized by a monoclonal proliferation of myofibroblastic cells. The optimal treatment for AF remains unclear. Identification and validation of genes whose expression patterns are associated with AF may elucidate biological mechanisms in AF, and aid treatment selection. This study was designed to examine the protein expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC) of four genes, ADAM12, FAP, SOX11, and WISP1, that were found in an earlier study to be uniquely overexpressed in AF compared with normal tissues. Digital image analysis was performed to evaluate inter- and intratumor heterogeneity, and correlate protein expression with histologic features, including a histopathologic assessment of tumor activity, defined by nuclear chromatin density ratio (CDR). AF tumors exhibited marked inter- and intratumor histologic heterogeneity. Pathologic assessment of tumor activity and digital assessment of average nuclear size and CDR were all significantly correlated. IHC revealed protein expression of all four genes. IHC staining for ADAM12, FAP, and WISP1 correlated with CDR and was higher, whereas SOX11 staining was lower in tumors with earlier recurrence following excision. All four proteins were expressed, and the regional variation in tumor activity within and among AF cases was demonstrated. A spatial correlation between protein expression and nuclear morphology was observed. IHC also correlated with the probability of recurrence following excision. These proteins may be involved in AF pathogenesis and the corresponding pathways could serve as potential targets of therapy.

Li H, Duhachek-Muggy S, Dubnicka S, Zolkiewska A
Metalloproteinase-disintegrin ADAM12 is associated with a breast tumor-initiating cell phenotype.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013; 139(3):691-703 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Members of the ADAM family of proteases have been associated with mammary tumorigenesis. Gene profiling of human breast tumors identified several intrinsic subtypes of breast cancer, which differ in terms of their basic biology, response to chemotherapy/radiation, preferential sites of metastasis, and overall patient survival. Whether or not the expression of individual ADAM proteases is linked to a particular subtype of breast cancer and whether the functions of these ADAMs are relevant to the cancer subtype have not been investigated. We analyzed several transcriptomic datasets and found that ADAM12L is specifically up-regulated in claudin-low tumors. These tumors are poorly differentiated, exhibit aggressive characteristics, have molecular signatures of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and are rich in markers of breast tumor-initiating cells (BTICs). Consistently, we find that ADAM12L, but not the alternative splice variant ADAM12S, is a part of stromal, mammosphere, and EMT gene signatures, which are all associated with BTICs. In patients with estrogen receptor-negative tumors, high expression of ADAM12L, but not ADAM12S, is predictive of resistance to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Using breast cancer cells, which express the endogenous ADAM12L and efficiently form mammospheres when plated at the density of single cell per well, we show that ADAM12L plays an important role in supporting mammosphere growth. We postulate that ADAM12L may serve as a novel marker and/or a novel therapeutic target in BTICs.

Cireap N, Narita D
Molecular profiling of ADAM12 and ADAM17 genes in human malignant melanoma.
Pathol Oncol Res. 2013; 19(4):755-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
ADAM12 and ADAM17 proteins belong to a family of transmembrane disintegrin-containing metalloproteinases (ADAMs) involved in the proteins ectodomain shedding and cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. However, the specific biological functions of ADAMs are still unclear and, until now, these proteins were not investigated yet in melanoma. The aim of this study was to analyze the splicing variants of ADAM12 (L and S) and ADAM17 gene expression in melanoma at transcriptional and translational level in comparison with control (non-tumor) tissues. Taking in account that ADAM17 sheddase is involved in the modulation of TNF-α (tumor necrosis factor alpha), we analyzed also this cytokine in the plasma of the same patients before any treatment, and we compared the results with healthy controls. Quantitative-RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry were used to analyze ADAM12 and ADAM17 genes expression and the analysis of TNF-α expression was carried out in the plasma using ELISA. We demonstrated that ADAM12L splicing variant together with ADAM17 gene are strongly overexpressed in melanomas, whereas ADAM12S, although up-regulated when compared with the non-tumor controls, the difference was not statistically significant. When we compared the levels of expression for the ADAMs genes according to the tumor stage, we observed that all three investigated genes were significantly overexpressed in advanced stage in comparison with early stage melanomas. In the plasma of the same patients, the expression of TNF-α was up-regulated and significantly correlated with the expression of ADAM17 and respectively, with the advanced tumor stage.

Kogure M, Takawa M, Cho HS, et al.
Deregulation of the histone demethylase JMJD2A is involved in human carcinogenesis through regulation of the G(1)/S transition.
Cancer Lett. 2013; 336(1):76-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although a number of JmjC-containing histone demethylases have been identified and biochemically characterized, pathological roles of their dysfunction in human disease such as cancer have not been well elucidated. Here, we report the Jumonji domain containing 2A (JMJD2A) is integral to proliferation of cancer cells. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis revealed higher expression of JMJD2A in clinical bladder cancer tissues than in corresponding non-neoplastic tissues (P<0.0001). Immunohistochemical analysis also showed positive staining for JMJD2A in 288 out of 403 lung cancer cases, whereas no staining was observed in lung normal tissues. Suppression of JMJD2A expression in lung and bladder cancer cells overexpressing this gene, using specific siRNAs, inhibited incorporation of BrdU and resulted in significant suppression of cell growth. Furthermore, JMJD2A appears to directly transactivate the expression of some tumor associated proteins including ADAM12 through the regulation of histone H3K9 methylation. As expression levels of JMJD2A are low in normal tissues, it may be feasible to develop specific inhibitors targeting the enzyme as anti-tumor agents which should have a minimal risk of adverse reaction.

Georges S, Chesneau J, Hervouet S, et al.
A Disintegrin And Metalloproteinase 12 produced by tumour cells accelerates osteosarcoma tumour progression and associated osteolysis.
Eur J Cancer. 2013; 49(9):2253-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Osteosarcoma is the most common primary malignant bone tumour in children and adolescents for whom the prognosis remains unfavourable despite treatment protocols that combine chemotherapy and surgery. Metalloproteinases decisively contribute to cancer development and promotion by regulating cell growth, angiogenesis or inflammation. However, their role in osteosarcoma remains still unknown.
METHODS: A screening of a large panel of metalloproteinases and their inhibitors, carried out in osteolytic (K7M2 and POS-1) or osteoblastic (MOS-J) mouse osteosarcoma models, shows that a member of a family of cell surface metallopeptidases, A Disintegrin And Metalloproteinase 12 (ADAM12), is highly expressed in the K7M2 and POS-1 cell lines and weakly expressed in the MOS-J cell line. To investigate whether ADAM12, involved in several pathologic conditions characterised by abnormal cell growth, plays a role in osteosarcoma tumour growth, ADAM12 was overexpressed in MOS-J and downregulated in K7M2 cells.
RESULTS: In vivo experiments demonstrated that ADAM12 favours tumour growth, leading to a significant modification in animal survival. In vitro assays showed that ADAM12 knockdown in K7M2 cells slows cell proliferation. In addition, the study of microarchitectural parameters, assessed by micro-computed tomography (CT) analysis, showed that ADAM12 favours bone osteolysis, as demonstrated both in an ADAM12 overexpressing (MOS-J) and a knockdown (K7M2) model. Histological analysis showed that ADAM12 inhibited osteoblast activity and therefore enhanced bone resorption.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrates that ADAM12 expression not only favours tumour growth but also associates enhanced osteolysis with a significant reduction in animal survival, suggesting that ADAM12 could be a new therapeutic target in osteosarcoma.

Fröhlich C, Klitgaard M, Noer JB, et al.
ADAM12 is expressed in the tumour vasculature and mediates ectodomain shedding of several membrane-anchored endothelial proteins.
Biochem J. 2013; 452(1):97-109 [PubMed] Related Publications
ADAM (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase) 12 is a metalloprotease implicated in cancer progression. ADAM12 can activate membrane-anchored proteins, such as sonic hedgehog, Delta-like 1 and certain epidermal growth factor receptor ligands, through a process called ectodomain shedding. We screened several membrane-anchored proteins to further dissect the substrate profile of ADAM12-mediated ectodomain shedding, and found shedding of five previously unreported substrates [Kitl1, VE-cadherin (vascular endothelial cadherin), Flk-1 (fetal liver kinase 1), Tie-2, and VCAM-1 (vascular cell adhesion molecule 1)], of which the latter four are specifically expressed by endothelial cells. We also observed that ADAM12 expression was increased in the tumour vasculature of infiltrating ductal carcinoma of the human breast as compared with little to no expression in normal breast tissue vasculature, suggesting a role for ADAM12 in tumour vessels. These results prompted us to further evaluate ADAM12-mediated shedding of two endothelial cell proteins, VE-cadherin and Tie-2. Endogenous ADAM12 expression was very low in cultured endothelial cells, but was significantly increased by cytokine stimulation. In parallel, the shed form of VE-cadherin was elevated in such cytokine-stimulated endothelial cells, and ADAM12 siRNA (small interfering RNA) knockdown reduced cytokine-induced shedding of VE-cadherin. In conclusion, the results of the present study demonstrate a role for ADAM12 in ectodomain shedding of several membrane-anchored endothelial proteins. We speculate that this process may have importance in tumour neovascularization or/and tumour cell extravasation.

Yu J, Walter K, Omura N, et al.
Unlike pancreatic cancer cells pancreatic cancer associated fibroblasts display minimal gene induction after 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(9):e43456 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Cancer associated stromal fibroblasts (CAFs) undergo transcriptional and phenotypic changes that contribute to tumor progression, but the mechanisms responsible for these changes are not well understood. Aberrant DNA methylation is an important cause of transcriptional alterations in cancer cells but it is not known how important DNA methylation alterations are to CAF behavior.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We used Affymetrix exon arrays to compare genes induced by the DNA methylation inhibitor 5-aza-dC in cultured pancreatic cancer associated fibroblasts, pancreatic control fibroblasts and pancreatic cancer cell lines.
RESULTS: We found that pancreatic CAFs and control pancreatic fibroblasts were less responsive to 5-aza-dC-mediated gene reactivation than pancreatic cancer cells (mean+/-SD of genes induced ≥ 5-fold was 9 ± 10 genes in 10 pancreatic CAF cultures, 17 ± 14 genes in 3 control pancreatic fibroblast cultures, and 134 ± 85 genes in 4 pancreatic cancer cell lines). We examined differentially expressed genes between CAFs and control fibroblasts for candidate methylated genes and identified the disintegrin and metalloprotease, ADAM12 as hypomethylated and overexpressed in pancreatic CAF lines and overexpressed in fibroblasts adjacent to primary pancreatic adenocarcinomas.
CONCLUSIONS: Compared to pancreatic cancer cells, few genes are reactivated by DNMT1 inhibition in pancreatic CAFs suggesting these cells do not harbor many functionally important alterations in DNA methylation. CAFs may also not be very responsive to therapeutic targeting with DNA methylation inhibitors.

Li H, Duhachek-Muggy S, Qi Y, et al.
An essential role of metalloprotease-disintegrin ADAM12 in triple-negative breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012; 135(3):759-69 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In the absence of HER2 overexpression, triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs) rely on signaling by epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR/ErbB1/HER1) to convey growth signals and stimulate cell proliferation. Soluble EGF-like ligands are derived from their transmembrane precursors by ADAM proteases, but the identity of the ADAM that is primarily responsible for ligand release and activation of EGFR in TNBCs is not clear. Using publicly available gene expression data for patients with lymph node-negative breast tumors who did not receive systemic treatment, we show that ADAM12L is the only ADAM with an expression level significantly associated with decreased distant metastasis-free survival times. Similar effect was not observed for patients with ER-negative non-TNBCs. There was a positive correlation between ADAM12L and HB-EGF and EGFR in TNBCs, but not in ER-negative non-TNBCs. We further demonstrate that ectopic expression of ADAM12L increased EGFR phosphorylation in a mouse intraductal xenograft model of early breast cancer. Finally, we detect strong correlation between the level of anti-ADAM12L and anti-phospho-EGFR immunostaining in human breast tumors using tissue microarrays. These studies suggest that ADAM12L is the primary protease responsible for the activation of EGFR in early stage, lymph node-negative TNBCs. Thus, our results may provide novel insight into the biology of TNBC.

Do EK, Kim YM, Heo SC, et al.
Lysophosphatidic acid-induced ADAM12 expression mediates human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cell-stimulated tumor growth.
Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2012; 44(11):2069-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is involved in mesenchymal stem cell-stimulated tumor growth in vivo. However, the molecular mechanism by which mesenchymal stem cells promote tumorigenesis remains elusive. In the present study, we demonstrate that conditioned medium from A549 human lung adenocarcinoma cells (A549 CM) induced the expression of ADAM12, a disintegrin and metalloproteases family member, in human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hASCs). A549 CM-stimulated ADAM12 expression was abrogated by pretreatment of hASCs with the LPA receptor 1 inhibitor Ki16425 or by small interfering RNA-mediated silencing of LPA receptor 1, suggesting a key role for the LPA-LPA receptor 1 signaling axis in A549 CM-stimulated ADAM12 expression. Silencing of ADAM12 expression using small interfering RNA or short hairpin RNA abrogated LPA-induced expression of both α-smooth muscle actin, a marker of carcinoma-associated fibroblasts, and ADAM12 in hASCs. Using a xenograft transplantation model of A549 cells, we demonstrated that silencing of ADAM12 inhibited the hASC-stimulated in vivo growth of A549 xenograft tumors and the differentiation of transplanted hASCs to α-smooth muscle actin-positive carcinoma-associated fibroblasts. LPA-conditioned medium from hASCs induced the adhesion of A549 cells and silencing of ADAM12 inhibited LPA-induced expression of extracellular matrix proteins, periostin and βig-h3, in hASCs and LPA-conditioned medium-stimulated adhesion of A549 cells. These results suggest a pivotal role for LPA-stimulated ADAM12 expression in tumor growth and the differentiation of hASCs to carcinoma-associated fibroblasts expressing α-smooth muscle actin, periostin, and βig-h3.

Baren JP, Stewart GD, Stokes A, et al.
mRNA profiling of the cancer degradome in oesophago-gastric adenocarcinoma.
Br J Cancer. 2012; 107(1):143-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Degradation of the extracellular matrix is fundamental to tumour development, invasion and metastasis. Several protease families have been implicated in the development of a broad range of tumour types, including oesophago-gastric (OG) adenocarcinoma. The aim of this study was to analyse the expression levels of all core members of the cancer degradome in OG adenocarcinoma and to investigate the relationship between expression levels and tumour/patient variables associated with poor prognosis.
METHODS: Comprehensive expression profiling of the protease families (matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), members of the ADAM metalloproteinase-disintegrin family (ADAMs)), their inhibitors (tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase), and molecules involved in the c-Met signalling pathway, was performed using quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction in a cohort of matched malignant and benign peri-tumoural OG tissue (n=25 patients). Data were analysed with respect to clinico-pathological variables (tumour stage and grade, age, sex and pre-operative plasma C-reactive protein level).
RESULTS: Gene expression of MMP1, 3, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16 and 24 was upregulated by factors >4-fold in OG adenocarcinoma samples compared with matched benign tissue (P<0.01). Expression of ADAM8 and ADAM15 correlated significantly with tumour stage (P=0.048 and P=0.044), and ADAM12 expression correlated with tumour grade (P=0.011).
CONCLUSION: This study represents the first comprehensive quantitative analysis of the expression of proteases and their inhibitors in human OG adenocarcinoma. These findings implicate elevated ADAM8, 12 and 15 mRNA expression as potential prognostic molecular markers.

Stautz D, Wewer UM, Kveiborg M
Functional analysis of a breast cancer-associated mutation in the intracellular domain of the metalloprotease ADAM12.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(5):e37628 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
A recently identified breast cancer-associated mutation in the metalloprotease ADAM12 alters a potential dileucine trafficking signal, which could affect protein processing and cellular localization. ADAM12 belongs to the group of A Disintegrin And Metalloproteases (ADAMs), which are typically membrane-associated proteins involved in ectodomain shedding, cell-adhesion, and signaling. ADAM12 as well as several members of the ADAM family are over-expressed in various cancers, correlating with disease stage. Three breast cancer-associated somatic mutations were previously identified in ADAM12, and two of these, one in the metalloprotease domain and another in the disintegrin domain, were investigated and found to result in protein misfolding, retention in the secretory pathway, and failure of zymogen maturation. The third mutation, p.L792F in the ADAM12 cytoplasmic tail, was not investigated, but is potentially significant given its location within a di-leucine motif, which is recognized as a potential cellular trafficking signal. The present study was motivated both by the potential relevance of this documented mutation to cancer, as well as for determining the role of the di-leucine motif in ADAM12 trafficking. Expression of ADAM12 p.L792F in mammalian cells demonstrated quantitatively similar expression levels and zymogen maturation as wild-type (WT) ADAM12, as well as comparable cellular localizations. A cell surface biotinylation assay demonstrated that cell surface levels of ADAM12 WT and ADAM12 p.L792F were similar and that internalization of the mutant occurred at the same rate and extent as for ADAM12 WT. Moreover, functional analysis revealed no differences in cell proliferation or ectodomain shedding of epidermal growth factor (EGF), a known ADAM12 substrate between WT and mutant ADAM12. These data suggest that the ADAM12 p.L792F mutation is unlikely to be a driver (cancer causing)-mutation in breast cancer.

Jiao X, Wood LD, Lindman M, et al.
Somatic mutations in the Notch, NF-KB, PIK3CA, and Hedgehog pathways in human breast cancers.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2012; 51(5):480-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Exome sequencing of human breast cancers has revealed a substantial number of candidate cancer genes with recurring but infrequent somatic mutations. To determine more accurately their mutation prevalence, we performed a mutation analysis of 36 novel candidate cancer genes in 96 human breast cancers. Somatic mutations with potential impact on protein function were observed in the genes ADAM12, CENTB1, CENTG1, DIP2C, GLI1, GRIN2D, HDLBP, IKBKB, KPNA5, NFKB1, NOTCH1, and OTOF. These findings strengthen the evidence for involvement of the Notch, Hedgehog, NF-KB, and PIK3CA pathways in breast cancer development, and point to novel processes that likely are involved.

Uehara E, Shiiba M, Shinozuka K, et al.
Upregulated expression of ADAM12 is associated with progression of oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Int J Oncol. 2012; 40(5):1414-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
ADAMs are a disintegrin and metalloproteinase family of membrane-associated metalloproteinases characterized by their multidomain structure, and have been reported to be associated with various malignant tumors. The aim of this study was to identify crucial members of the ADAM family in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), and to reveal their biological function and clinical significance. To clarify whether ADAM family genes are involved in OSCC, changes in the expression profile were investigated by real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis and immunohistochemical analysis. Functional analysis was performed by comparing cellular proliferation of siADAM-transfected cell lines and parental cell lines. Real-time qRT-PCR analysis identified significantly upregulated expression of ADAM12 in OSCC-derived cell lines. This was validated in OSCC samples using real-time qRT-PCR and immuno-histochemical staining. ADAM12 expression was correlated with TNM classification; significantly greater expression of ADAM12 was observed in tumors with higher T classification and more advanced stages. Moreover, siADAM12-transfected cells showed both a suppressed proliferation rate and increased transforming growth factor (TGF)-β3 expression. Our data indicate that ADAM12 is overexpressed in OSCC and might accelerate cellular proliferation. Its function may be associated with TGF-β signaling. This study suggests that controlling the expression or activity of ADAM12 could be a useful strategy in the development of an effective cure for OSCC.

Colombo C, Creighton CJ, Ghadimi MP, et al.
Increased midkine expression correlates with desmoid tumour recurrence: a potential biomarker and therapeutic target.
J Pathol. 2011; 225(4):574-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
Desmoid tumours (DTs) are soft tissue monoclonal neoplasms exhibiting a unique phenotype, consisting of aggressive local invasiveness without metastatic capacity. While DTs can infrequently occur as part of familial adenomatosis polyposis, most cases arise sporadically. Sporadic DTs harbour a high prevalence of CTNNB1 mutations and hence increased β-catenin signalling. However, β-catenin downstream transcriptional targets and other molecular deregulations operative in DT inception and progression are currently not well defined, contributing to the lack of sensitive molecular prognosticators and efficacious targeted therapeutic strategies. We compared the gene expression profiles of 14 sporadic DTs to those of five corresponding normal tissues and six solitary fibrous tumour specimens. A DT expression signature consisting of 636 up- and 119 down-regulated genes highly enriched for extracellular matrix, cell adhesion and wound healing-related proteins was generated. Furthermore, 98 (15%) of the over-expressed genes were demonstrated to contain a TCF/LEF consensus binding site in their promoters, possibly heralding direct β-catenin downstream targets relevant to DT. The protein products of three of the up-regulated DT genes: ADAM12, MMP2 and midkine, were found to be commonly expressed in a large cohort of human DT samples assembled on a tissue microarray. Interestingly, enhanced midkine expression significantly correlated with a higher propensity and decreased time for primary DT recurrence (log-rank p = 0.0025). Finally, midkine was found to enhance the migration and invasion of primary DT cell cultures. Taken together, these studies provide insights into potential DT molecular aberrations and novel β-catenin transcriptional targets. Further studies to confirm the utility of midkine as a clinical DT molecular prognosticator and a potential therapeutic target are therefore warranted. Raw gene array data can be found at:

Sasaroli D, Gimotty PA, Pathak HB, et al.
Novel surface targets and serum biomarkers from the ovarian cancer vasculature.
Cancer Biol Ther. 2011; 12(3):169-80 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The molecular phenotype of tumor vasculature is different from normal vasculature, offering new opportunities for diagnosis and therapy of cancer, but the identification of tumor-restricted targets remains a challenge. We investigated 13 tumor vascular markers (TVMs) from 50 candidates identified through expression profiling of ovarian cancer vascular cells and selected to be either transmembrane or secreted, and to be either absent or expressed at low levels in normal tissues while overexpressed in tumors, based on analysis of 1,110 normal and tumor tissues from publicly available Affymetrix microarray data. Tumor-specific expression of each TVM was confirmed at the protein level in tumor tissue and/or in serum. Among the 13 TVMs, 11 were expressed on tumor vascular endothelium; the remaining 2 TVMs were expressed by tumor leukocytes. Our results demonstrate that certain transmembrane TVMs such as ADAM12 and CDCP1 are selectively expressed in tumor vasculature and represent promising targets for vascular imaging or anti-vascular therapy of epithelial ovarian cancer, while secreted or shed molecules such as TNFRSF21/DR6 can function as serum biomarkers. We have identified novel tumor-specific vasculature markers which appear promising for cancer serum diagnostics, molecular imaging and/or therapeutic targeting applications and warrant further clinical development.

Narita D, Seclaman E, Ursoniu S, Anghel A
Increased expression of ADAM12 and ADAM17 genes in laser-capture microdissected breast cancers and correlations with clinical and pathological characteristics.
Acta Histochem. 2012; 114(2):131-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
ADAMs (a desintegrin and metalloprotease) are transmembrane glycoproteins involved in cell growth, differentiation, motility, and respectively, tumor growth and progression. Our aim was to evaluate ADAM12 spliced variants (ADAM12L - long membrane-bound and ADAM12S - secreted-short variant) and ADAM17 genes expression in breast cancers and to correlate their level of expression with clinical and pathological characteristics. Expression of ADAMs was analyzed using quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction in laser-capture microdissected specimens of breast cancers and corresponding non-neoplastic breast tissues from 92 patients. The proteins' expression was confirmed by immunohistochemistry. Significantly elevated amounts of ADAM12L, ADAM12S and ADAM17 transcripts were found in malignant breast cells compared with normal breast tissue and both ADAMs proteins showed moderate to strong immunoexpression in tumor cells and peritumoral fibroblasts. ADAM12L and ADAM12S expressions were correlated with age, younger patients having higher expression of ADAM12L and ADAM12S; ductal cancers had higher expression of ADAM12L compared with lobular types, whereas ADAM12S was higher expressed in lobular cancers; higher expressions were found for both ADAM12 and ADAM17 in HER2/neu positive and highly proliferative cancers. High-grade cancers showed significantly increased expression of ADAM17. Our study on laser-capture microdissected specimens confers motivation for future work on development of ADAM-selective inhibitors for treatment of breast cancers.

Roy R, Moses MA
ADAM12 induces estrogen-independence in breast cancer cells.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012; 131(3):731-41 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Antiestrogen therapy has been used successfully to prolong disease-free and overall survival of ER positive breast cancer patients. However, 50% of patients with ER+ tumors fail to respond to such therapy or eventually acquire resistance to endocrine therapy, resulting in tumor progression and mortality. It is imperative, therefore, to understand the mechanisms that lead to hormone refractory breast cancer in order to develop therapeutics that can modulate the resistance to antiestrogen therapy. The protease, ADAM12, can be detected in the urine of breast cancer patients and its levels correlate with disease status, stage, and cancer risk. Within the context of this study, the authors have investigated the role of the two distinct isoforms of ADAM12 in breast tumor cell proliferation and as potential mediators of endocrine resistance. Using stable clones of ADAM12-overexpressing MCF-7 cells, the authors analyzed proliferation rates of these ER+ breast tumor cells both in estrogen-depleted medium and in the presence of the antiestrogens, tamoxifen, and ICI 182,780. Acquired estrogen resistance in these cells was analyzed using phospho-RTK analysis. Upregulation and phosphorylation of proteins were detected via immunoprecipitation and immunoblotting. EGFR and MAPK inhibitors were used to explore the mechanism of acquired estrogen resistance in breast tumor cells. It was observed that overexpression of the two isoforms, transmembrane ADAM12-L, and secreted ADAM12-S, in breast tumor cells promoted estrogen-independent proliferation. In ADAM12-L-expressing cells, estrogen-independence was a direct result of increased EGFR expression and MAPK activation, whereas, the mechanism in ADAM12-S-expressing cells may be enhanced IGF-1R signaling. The importance of the EGFR signaling pathway in the estrogen-independent growth of ADAM12-L expressing cells was highlighted by the effect of EGFR inhibitors AG1478 and PD15035 or MAPK inhibitor U0126, each of which abolished the antiestrogen resistance in these cells. Taken together, these results demonstrate that ADAM12 isoforms confer a proliferative advantage to MCF-7 cells in the absence of estrogen stimulation, and suggest that downregulation of ADAM12 in combination with endocrine therapy may represent a useful pharmacological approach to breast cancer therapy.

Lesbats P, Botbol Y, Chevereau G, et al.
Functional coupling between HIV-1 integrase and the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex for efficient in vitro integration into stable nucleosomes.
PLoS Pathog. 2011; 7(2):e1001280 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Establishment of stable HIV-1 infection requires the efficient integration of the retroviral genome into the host DNA. The molecular mechanism underlying the control of this process by the chromatin structure has not yet been elucidated. We show here that stably associated nucleosomes strongly inhibit in vitro two viral-end integration by decreasing the accessibility of DNA to integrase. Remodeling of the chromatinized template by the SWI/SNF complex, whose INI1 major component interacts with IN, restores and redirects the full-site integration into the stable nucleosome region. These effects are not observed after remodeling by other human remodeling factors such as SNF2H or BRG1 lacking the integrase binding protein INI1. This suggests that the restoration process depends on the direct interaction between IN and the whole SWI/SNF complex, supporting a functional coupling between the remodeling and integration complexes. Furthermore, in silico comparison between more than 40,000 non-redundant cellular integration sites selected from literature and nucleosome occupancy predictions also supports that HIV-1 integration is promoted in the genomic region of weaker intrinsic nucleosome density in the infected cell. Our data indicate that some chromatin structures can be refractory for integration and that coupling between nucleosome remodeling and HIV-1 integration is required to overcome this natural barrier.

Narita D, Seclaman E, Ilina R, et al.
ADAM12 and ADAM17 gene expression in laser-capture microdissected and non-microdissected breast tumors.
Pathol Oncol Res. 2011; 17(2):375-85 [PubMed] Related Publications
ADAM (a disintegrin and metalloprotease)12 and ADAM17 are multidomain transmembrane proteins involved in ectodomain shedding of cytokines, growth factors and adhesion molecules, with pivotal activities in the tumor microenvironment. The aim of this study was to confirm the up-regulation of ADAM17 and ADAM12 gene splicing variants in breast tumors and to delineate their expression between laser-capture microdissected (LCM) and non-microdissected breast tumors. The gene expression was analyzed by quantitative-reverse transcription-PCR in a total sample of 109 breast tumors paired with corresponding non-neoplastic breast tissues. ADAM12 and 17 proteins expression for corresponding tissue samples was confirmed by immunohistochemistry. ADAM12S, 12L and 17 genes were significantly up-regulated in either malign or benign LCM samples when compared to non-tumor controls. For non-LCM samples, it was obtained also an increased expression for ADAM12 and 17 genes in cancers, while in benign tumors only ADAM12 variants were significantly up-regulated compared to controls. When benign versus malignant tumors were compared, in LCM samples all investigated genes displayed a higher expression in cancers, whereas in non-LCM, ADAM12 variants were overexpressed in benign samples. The increased expression of ADAM12 protein in the tumor cells and stroma of benign breast diseases was immunohistochemically confirmed. These differences between LCM and non-LCM samples were explained by the contribution of the stroma to the expression of this marker. This study underlines the accuracy conferred by homogenous LCM samples on gene expression profiles and confers further evidence regarding the role of ADAM12 and 17 in the breast tumorigenesis and progression.

Nariţa D, Anghel A, Seclaman E, et al.
Molecular profiling of ADAM12 gene in breast cancers.
Rom J Morphol Embryol. 2010; 51(4):669-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
ADAMs (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase) family have been associated with the process of proteolytic "shedding" of membrane-associated proteins ectodomain and hence the rapid modulation of key cell signaling pathways in tissues microenvironment. A variety of cytokines, chemokines and growth factors which are initially produced as transmembrane proforms are activated by these sheddase activities. ADAM12 is highly expressed in rapidly growing tissues such as placenta and malignant tumors and it was found as one of the Candidate Cancer Genes in a comprehensive mutational analysis of human breast cancers. Our aim was to determine the gene expression profile of ADAM12 in breast cancers in comparison with normal breast and to correlate their level of expression with the clinical and pathological characteristics of breast cancers. Gene expression of ADAM12 spliced variants (12L and 12S) was evaluated using quantitative reverse-transcription PCR in samples obtained by laser capture microdissection from 38 patients with breast cancers and compared with adjacent healthy breast tissues. Both ADAM12L and 12S expression were significantly up-regulated in breast cancers, while in the normal breast, we found a very low expression. ADAM12L expression was significantly correlated with the histopathological types and, although not statistically significant, ADAM12 both variants were up-regulated in high-grade, highly-proliferative and HER2÷neu positive tumors. From these preliminary results, we found that ADAM12 could be an interesting marker and eventually a therapeutic target for breast cancer.

Rahmatpanah FB, Carstens S, Hooshmand SI, et al.
Large-scale analysis of DNA methylation in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Epigenomics. 2009; 1(1):39-61 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIMS: B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a heterogeneous malignancy that clinically ranges from indolent to rapidly progressive. CLL, like other cancers, can be affected by epigenetic alterations.
MATERIALS & METHODS: A microarray discovery-based study was initiated to determine DNA methylation in CLL cases with a range of CD38 expression (1–92%).
RESULTS: Many loci were either methylated or unmethylated across all CD38 levels, but differential methylation was also observed for some genes. Genomic sequencing of DLEU7 confirmed extensive cytosine methylation preferentially in patient samples with low CD38 expression, whereas NRP2, SFRP2 and ADAM12 were more commonly methylated in those with high CD38 expression.
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that CLL is affected by CpG island methylation in some genes that segregate with CD38 expression levels, while most others show similar methylation patterns across all levels. The CpG island methylation in certain functional gene groups and pathway-associated genes that are known to be deregulated in CLL provides additional insights into the CLL methylome and epigenetic contribution to cellular dysfunction. It will now be useful to investigate the effectiveness of epigenetic therapeutic reversal of these alterations to develop effective treatments for the disease.

Markowski J, Oczko-Wojciechowska M, Gierek T, et al.
Gene expression profile analysis in laryngeal cancer by high-density oligonucleotide microarrays.
J Physiol Pharmacol. 2009; 60 Suppl 1:57-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
The assessment of gene expression profile in laryngeal cancer shall allow to implement molecular biology methods in diagnostics, as well as in prognosis of the course of disease. Thus, it may influence the choice of the most optimal decisions in regards to the method of treatment, extent of surgical procedure, or the necessity of adding post-operative radiotherapy. The aim of the project was to analyse the gene expression profile of laryngeal cancer using oligonucleotide microarrays, aiming to derive novel molecular markers for that carcinoma. The study comprised a group of 14 patients (12 males and 2 females) with squamous cell laryngeal carcinoma, diagnosed and surgically treated between 2005 - 2007 in the ENT Department of the Silesian Medical University in Katowice, Poland. RNA was isolated from frozen tissue fragments. To assess gene expression profile, high density oligonucleotide microarrays (Affymetrix U 133 Plus 2.0) were applied, with over 54 thousand probesets for over 47 thousand transcripts. Four genes, previously not assesed in diagnostic context in laryngeal carcinoma, seemed to be valuable markers of that neoplasm. These are: metalloproteinase ADAM12, cycline-dependent kinase 2 - CDK2, kinesine 14 - KIF14, suppressor 1 of checkpoint - CHES1.

Markowski J, Tyszkiewicz T, Jarzab M, et al.
Metal-proteinase ADAM12, kinesin 14 and checkpoint suppressor 1 as new molecular markers of laryngeal carcinoma.
Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2009; 266(10):1501-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
The assessment of gene expression profile in laryngeal cancer allows implementation of molecular biology methods in diagnostics, as well as in prognosticating the course of disease, thus allowing taking most optimal decisions as regards the method of treatment, scope of surgical procedure, or the necessity of adding complementary radiotherapy. The aim of the project was to analyze the gene expression profile in laryngeal cancer using oligonucleotide microarrays, having in mind searching new molecular markers for that carcinoma. The study comprised a group of 43 patients (38 males and 5 females) suffering from squamous cell laryngeal carcinoma, diagnosed and surgically treated in the years 2005-2007 in the ENT Department of the Silesian Medical University in Katowice, Poland. RNA was isolated from frozen tissue fragments, with the use of columns RNeasy Midi and Mini Kit (Qiagen). For the examination of gene expression profile, oligonucleotide microarrays of high density were used, provided by Affymetrix (U 133 2.0 PLUS) containing over 54,000 probes for over 47,000 transcripts. Four genes previously not examined in that respect in laryngeal carcinoma, occurred to be good markers of the neoplasm. They are: metal-proteinase ADAM12, cyclin-dependent kinase 2-CDK2, kinesin 14-KIF14, suppressor 1 of checkpoint-CHES1. The analysis of gene expression profile allows, in laryngeal carcinoma, to point out to new genes, which in future may become molecular markers of the carcinoma.

Jacobsen J, Wewer UM
Targeting ADAM12 in human disease: head, body or tail?
Curr Pharm Des. 2009; 15(20):2300-10 [PubMed] Related Publications
ADAM12/meltrin alpha is a type I transmembrane multidomain protein involved in tumor progression and other severe diseases, including osteoarthritis, and as such could be considered as a potential drug target. In addition to protease activity, ADAM12 possesses cell binding and cell signaling properties. This functional trinity is reflected in the structure of ADAM12, which can be divided into head, body, and tail. The head of the protein (consisting of the pro and catalytic domains) mediates processing of growth factors and cytokines and has been implicated in epidermal growth factor (EGF) and insulin-like growth factor receptor signaling. The body of the protein (consisting of the disintegrin, cysteine-rich, and EGF-like domains) is involved in contacts with the extracellular matrix and other cells through interactions with integrins and syndecans. Finally, the tail of the protein (consisting of the cytoplasmic domain) is engaged in interactions with intracellular signaling molecules. In many studies, ADAM12 overexpression has been correlated with disease, and ADAM12 has been shown to promote tumor growth and progression in cancer. On the other hand, protective effects of ADAM12 in disease have also been reported. Future investigations should address the precise mechanisms of ADAM12 in disease and biology in order to counterbalance the benefits from targeting ADAM12 therapeutically with possible side effects. This review describes the biology of ADAM12, its association with disease, and evaluates the possible approaches to targeting ADAM12 in human disease.

Zubel A, Flechtenmacher C, Edler L, Alonso A
Expression of ADAM9 in CIN3 lesions and squamous cell carcinomas of the cervix.
Gynecol Oncol. 2009; 114(2):332-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: ADAM9 is a member of the ADAM family which is involved in cellular processes like cell adhesion, migration and signalling [M.L. Moss, J.M. White, M.H. Lambert, R.C. Andrews, TACE and other ADAM proteases as targets for drug discovery. Drug Discov. Today 2001; 6:417-426., G. Murphy, The ADAMS: signalling scissors in the tumour microenvironment. Nat. Cancer Rev. 2008; 8:929-941.]. ADAM9 overexpression has been described in many of solid tumours including prostate, renal, pancreas, lung and gastric cancer [R.J. Grutzmann, J. Luttges, B. Sipos, O. Ammerpohl, F. Dobrowolski, I. Alldinger, et al., ADAM9 expression in pancreatic cancer is associated with tumour type and is a prognostic factor in ductal adenocarcinoma. Br. J. Cancer 2004; 90:1053-1058., C.A. Iacobuzio-Donahue, A. Maitra, M. Olsen, A.W. Lowe, N.T. van Heek, C. Rosty, et al., Exploration of global gene expression patterns in pancreatic adenocarcinoma using cDNA microarrays. Am. J. Pathol. 2003; 162: 1151-1162., Y. Shintani, S. Higashiyama, M. Ohta, H. Hirabayashi, S. Yamamoto,T. Yoshimasu, et al., Overexpression of ADAM9 in non-small cell lung cancer correlates with brain metastasis. Cancer Res. 2004; 64:4190-4196., S. Carl-McGrath, U. Lendeckel, M. Ebert, A. Roessner, C. Rocken, The disintegrin-metalloproteinases ADAM9, ADAM12, and ADAM15 are upregulated in gastric cancer. Int. J. Oncol. 2005; 26:17-24., F.R. Fritzsche, K. Wassermann, M. Jung, A. Tölle, I. Kristiansen, M. Lein, et al., ADAM9 is highly expressed in renal cell cancer and is associated with tumour progression. BMC Cancer 2008; 8:179.]. The involvement of this protease in cervical carcinogenesis has not been yet investigated. The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of ADAM9 in normal epithelium, CIN3 lesions and squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) of the uterine cervix.
METHODS: Archived paraffin-embedded tissue blocks from biopsy or surgery specimens obtained from 50 subjects with CIN3 and squamous cancer of the cervix were studied by immunohistochemistry using heat-induced epitope retrieval for ADAM9 expression.
RESULTS: Weak expression of ADAM9 was found in the normal cervical epithelium with weak cytoplasmatic staining but also membrane immunoreactivity. Evident staining for ADAM9 was detected in 31 out of 36 (86%) CIN3 lesions and in 13 out of 14 (93%) squamous cell carcinomas of the uterine cervix. Staining was stronger in SCC compared to CIN3 lesions. Moderate staining was detected in 64% (9/14) of SCC and in 36% (13/36) CIN3 lesions. Weak staining was observed in 50% (18/36) of CIN3 lesions and in 29% (4/14) of SCC. The difference in the ADAM9 protein expression between cervical squamous carcinomas and normal epithelium was highly significant. Statistical significance was also found for the increased expression observed in CIN3 lesions versus normal squamous epithelium.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results show for the first time, that ADAM9 expression is low in the squamous epithelium of the cervix, but is increased in CIN3 lesions as well as SCCs being the increase in both cases statistically significant.

Kveiborg M, Albrechtsen R, Couchman JR, Wewer UM
Cellular roles of ADAM12 in health and disease.
Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2008; 40(9):1685-702 [PubMed] Related Publications
ADAM12 belongs to the large family of ADAMs (a disintegrin and metalloproteases) and possesses extracellular metalloprotease and cell-binding functions, as well as intracellular signaling capacities. Interest in ADAM12 has increased recently because its expression is related to tumor progression and it is a potential biomarker for breast cancer. It is therefore important to understand ADAM12's functions. Many cellular roles for ADAM12 have been suggested. It is an active metalloprotease, and has been implicated in insulin-like growth factor (IGF) receptor signaling, through cleavage of IGF-binding proteins, and in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathways, via ectodomain shedding of membrane-tethered EGFR ligands. These proteolytic events may regulate diverse cellular responses, such as altered cell differentiation, proliferation, migration, and invasion. ADAM12 may also regulate cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix contacts through interactions with cell surface receptors - integrins and syndecans - potentially influencing the actin cytoskeleton. Moreover, ADAM12 interacts with several cytoplasmic signaling and adaptor molecules through its intracellular domain, thereby directly transmitting signals to or from the cell interior. These ADAM12-mediated cellular effects appear to be critical events in both biological and pathological processes. This review presents current knowledge on ADAM12 functions gained from in vitro and in vivo observations, describes ADAM12's role in both normal physiology and pathology, particularly in cancer, and discusses important areas for future investigation.

Dyczynska E, Syta E, Sun D, Zolkiewska A
Breast cancer-associated mutations in metalloprotease disintegrin ADAM12 interfere with the intracellular trafficking and processing of the protein.
Int J Cancer. 2008; 122(11):2634-40 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
ADAM12 has recently emerged as a Candidate Cancer Gene in a comprehensive genetic analysis of human breast cancers. Three somatic mutations in ADAM12 were observed at significant frequencies in breast cancers: D301H, G479E and L792F. The first 2 of these mutations involve highly conserved residues in ADAM12, and our computational sequence analysis confirms that they may be cancer-related. We show that the corresponding mutations in mouse ADAM12 inhibit the proteolytic processing and activation of ADAM12 in NIH3T3, COS-7, CHO-K1 cells and in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. The D/H and G/E ADAM12 mutants exert a dominant-negative effect on the processing of the wild-type ADAM12. Immunofluorescence analysis and cell surface biotinylation experiments demonstrate that the D/H and G/E mutants are retained inside the cell and are not transported to the cell surface. Consequently, the D/H and G/E mutants, unlike the wild-type ADAM12, are not capable of shedding Delta-like l, a ligand for Notch receptor, at the cell surface, or of stimulating cell migration. Our results suggest that the breast cancer-associated mutations interfere with the intracellular trafficking of ADAM12 and result in loss of the functional ADAM12 at the cell surface.

Liu P, Vikis H, Lu Y, et al.
Large-scale in silico mapping of complex quantitative traits in inbred mice.
PLoS One. 2007; 2(7):e651 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Understanding the genetic basis of common disease and disease-related quantitative traits will aid in the development of diagnostics and therapeutics. The processs of gene discovery can be sped up by rapid and effective integration of well-defined mouse genome and phenome data resources. We describe here an in silico gene-discovery strategy through genome-wide association (GWA) scans in inbred mice with a wide range of genetic variation. We identified 937 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) from a survey of 173 mouse phenotypes, which include models of human disease (atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, cancer and obesity) as well as behavioral, hematological, immunological, metabolic, and neurological traits. 67% of QTLs were refined into genomic regions <0.5 Mb with approximately 40-fold increase in mapping precision as compared with classical linkage analysis. This makes for more efficient identification of the genes that underlie disease. We have identified two QTL genes, Adam12 and Cdh2, as causal genetic variants for atherogenic diet-induced obesity. Our findings demonstrate that GWA analysis in mice has the potential to resolve multiple tightly linked QTLs and achieve single-gene resolution. These high-resolution QTL data can serve as a primary resource for positional cloning and gene identification in the research community.

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