The roles of ADAMTS metalloproteinases in tumorigenesis and metastasis

Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2011 Jan 1;16(5):1861-72. doi: 10.2741/3827.


The human ADAMTS (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin-like motifs) family of 19 secreted, multidomain proteolytic enzymes is involved in a wide range of biological processes including ECM assembly and degradation, hemostasis, organogenesis and the regulation of angiogenesis. Defects in certain family members give rise to inherited human genetic diseases, while aberrant expression of other ADAMTSs has been linked to the pathogenesis of arthritis and cancer. Several ADAMTSs act as tumor or metastasis suppressors whose functions are lost either by mutation or epigenetic silencing during tumor progression. This review looks in depth at the involvement of ADAMTSs as positive and negative mediators in cancer growth and spread.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • ADAM Proteins / physiology*
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / physiology
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Metalloproteases / physiology*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / physiopathology*
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Thrombospondins / physiology


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Thrombospondins
  • Metalloproteases
  • ADAM Proteins