Research article

Metalloproteinase-like, disintegrin-like, cysteine-rich proteins MDC2 and MDC3: novel human cellular disintegrins highly expressed in the brain

Koji SAGANE, Yukio OHYA, Yoshikazu HASEGAWA, Isao TANAKA


Cellular disintegrins are a family of membrane-anchored proteins structurally related to snake venom disintegrins, and are potential regulators of cell–cell and cell–matrix interactions. The members of this protein family are also called ADAMs (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase) or MDC proteins (metalloproteinase-like disintegrin-like cysteine-rich), because they all contain disintegrin-like and metalloproteinase-like domains. In this paper, we report the cloning and sequence analysis of two novel additional members of this family, which we have termed MDC2 and MDC3. The deduced amino acid sequences reveal that the two proteins possess typical cellular disintegrin structures [that is, pro-, metalloproteinase-like, disintegrin-like, cysteine-rich, epidermal growth factor-like, transmembrane, and cytoplasmic domains] and exhibit high sequence similarity with human MDC/ADAM11 protein [Katagiri, Harada, Emi and Nakamura (1995) Cytogenet. Cell Genet. 68, 39–44]. A zinc-binding motif, which is critical for proteinase activity, is disrupted in the metalloproteinase-like domain of MDC2 and MDC3, as well as MDC/ADAM11. In the disintegrin-like domain of snake venom short disintegrins, the RDG-containing loops are critical for integrin binding. These three MDCs do not contain the RDG sequences, but the corresponding loops in these proteins are similar to each other. Northern blot analysis revealed that the mRNAs of MDC2, MDC3 and MDC/ADAM11 are highly expressed in the brain. These findings suggest that these proteins may function as integrin ligands in the brain.