ADAMTS6 cleaves the large latent TGFβ complex and increases the mechanotension of cells to activate TGFβ

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The ADAMTS superfamily is composed of secreted metalloproteases and structurally related non-catalytic ADAMTS-like proteins. A subset of this superfamily, including ADAMTS6, ADAMTS10 and ADAMTSL2, are involved in elastic fiber assembly and bind to fibrillin and other matrix molecules that regulate the extracellular bioavailability of the potent growth factor TGFβ. Fibrillinopathies, that can also result from mutation of these ADAMTS/L proteins, have been linked to disrupted TGFβ homeostasis. ADAMTS6 and ADAMTS10 are homologous metalloproteases with poorly characterized substrates where ADAMTS10 is thought to process fibrillin-2 and ADAMTS6 latent TGFβ-binding protein (LTBP)-1. In order to understand the contribution of ADAMTS6, and these other members of the ADAMTS/L family, to TGFβ homeostasis, we have analyzed the effects of ADAMTS6, ADAMTS10 and ADAMTSL2 expression on TGFβ activation. We found that their expression increases TGFβ activation in a dose dependent manner, following stimulation with mature TGFβ1. For ADAMTS6, the catalytically active protease is required for effective TGFβ activation, where ADAMTS6 cleaves LTBP3 as well as LTBP1, and binds to the large latent TGFβ complexes of LTBP1 and LTBP3. Furthermore, ADAMTS6 expression increases the mechanotension of cells which results in inactivation of the Hippo Pathway, resulting in an increased translocation of YAP/TAZ complex to the nucleus. Together these findings suggest that when the balance of TGFβ is perturbed ADAMTS6 can influence TGFβ activation via two mechanisms. It directly cleaves the latent TGFβ complexes and also acts indirectly, along with ADAMTS10 and ADAMTSL2, by altering the mechanotension of cells. Together this increases activation of TGFβ from large latent complexes which may contribute to disease pathogenesis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMatrix Biology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 4 Nov 2022


  • TGFβ Signaling
  • Mechanotension
  • Extracellular Matrix


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