A disintegrin and metalloproteinases (ADAMs) are a family of membrane-bound proteases. ADAM-TSs (ADAMs with thrombospondin domains) are a close relative of ADAMs that are present in soluble form in the extracellular space. Dysregulated production or function of these enzymes has been associated with pathologies such as cancer, asthma, Alzheimer's and cardiovascular diseases. ADAMs contribute to angiogenesis, hypertrophy and apoptosis in a stimulus- and cell type-dependent manner. Among the ADAMs identified so far (34 in mouse, 21 in human), ADAMs 8, 9, 10, 12, 17 and 19 have been shown to be involved in cardiovascular development or cardiomyopathies; and among the 19 ADAM-TSs, ADAM-TS1, 5, 7 and 9 are important in development of the cardiovascular system, while ADAM-TS13 can contribute to vascular disorders. Meanwhile, there remain a number of ADAMs and ADAM-TSs whose function in the cardiovascular system has not been yet explored. The current knowledge about the role of ADAMs and ADAM-TSs in the cardiovascular pathologies is still quite limited.
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