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Vol. 284 no. 5420 pp. 1664-1666
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5420.1664
  • Report

Purification and Cloning of Aggrecanase-1: A Member of the ADAMTS Family of Proteins

  1. E. C. Arner1,
  1. 1 Department of Inflammatory Diseases Research,
  2. 2 Department of Applied Biotechnology,
  3. 3 Department of Enzymology,
  4. 4 Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, DuPont Pharmaceuticals Company, Wilmington, DE 19880–0400, USA.
  5. 5 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, KS 66160, USA.


We purified, cloned, and expressed aggrecanase, a protease that is thought to be responsible for the degradation of cartilage aggrecan in arthritic diseases. Aggrecanase-1 [a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs–4 (ADAMTS-4)] is a member of the ADAMTS protein family that cleaves aggrecan at the glutamic acid-373–alanine-374 bond. The identification of this protease provides a specific target for the development of therapeutics to prevent cartilage degradation in arthritis.

  • * Present address: Department of Cancer Cell Research, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108–8639, Japan.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: elizabeth.c.arner{at}

  • Received for publication 15 March 1999.
  • Accepted for publication 7 May 1999.