The ADAM gene family: surface proteins with adhesion and protease activity

Trends Genet. 2000 Feb;16(2):83-7. doi: 10.1016/s0168-9525(99)01926-5.


An ADAM is a transmembrane protein that contains a disintegrin and metalloprotease domain and, therefore, it potentially has both cell adhesion and protease activities. Currently, the ADAM gene family has 29 members, although the function of most ADAM gene products is unknown. We discuss the ADAM gene products with known functions that act in a highly diverse set of biological processes, including fertilization, neurogenesis, myogenesis, embryonic TGF-alpha release and the inflammatory response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • ADAM Proteins
  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion / genetics
  • Fertilins
  • Fertilization / genetics
  • Humans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Metalloendopeptidases / chemistry
  • Metalloendopeptidases / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Multigene Family
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary


  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • ADAM Proteins
  • Fertilins
  • Metalloendopeptidases