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Genetics Home Reference: your guide to understanding genetic conditions     A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine®

ADAMTS gene family

Reviewed October 2008

What are the ADAMTS genes?

The ADAMTS gene family provides instructions for making a group of enzymes with a wide variety of functions. These enzymes are described as metalloproteases, which means that they contain a metal (in this case, zinc) and have protease activity (that is, they cut apart other proteins).

The human ADAMTS gene family consists of 19 related genes. These genes are designated ADAMTS1 through ADAMTS20. (There is no ADAMTS11 gene; this gene was found to be the same as ADAMTS5.)

Enzymes in the ADAMTS family are involved in many different processes in cells and tissues. They play roles in attaching cells together (cell adhesion), the movement (migration) of cells, blood clotting (coagulation), inflammation, and the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis). ADAMTS enzymes are also critical for the normal structure and function of connective tissue, which forms the body's supportive framework. Several ADAMTS enzymes are active before birth; they are probably involved in the formation and development of the body's organs and tissues.

Changes in ADAMTS genes have been associated with several diseases, including connective tissue disorders (such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome), osteoarthritis, and a blood clotting disorder called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Studies suggest that abnormal regulation of enzymes in the ADAMTS family may also play a role in several types of cancer.

Which genes are included in the ADAMTS gene family?

The HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) provides an index of gene families ( and their member genes.

Genetics Home Reference summarizes the normal function and health implications of these members of the ADAMTS gene family: ADAMTS2, ADAMTS10, and ADAMTS13.

What conditions are related to genes in the ADAMTS gene family?

Genetics Home Reference includes these conditions related to genes in the ADAMTS gene family:

  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
  • Weill-Marchesani syndrome

Where can I find additional information about the ADAMTS gene family?

You may find the following resources about the ADAMTS gene family helpful.

  • Eurekah Bioscience Collection: General features of ADAMs and ADAMTS ( (U.S. National Library of Medicine)

What glossary definitions help with understanding the ADAMTS gene family?

angiogenesis ; blood clotting ; cancer ; cell ; cell adhesion ; clotting ; coagulation ; connective tissue ; gene ; inflammation ; motif ; protease ; purpura ; syndrome ; tissue

You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.


These sources were used to develop the Genetics Home Reference summary for the ADAMTS gene family.

  • Rocks N, Paulissen G, El Hour M, Quesada F, Crahay C, Gueders M, Foidart JM, Noel A, Cataldo D. Emerging roles of ADAM and ADAMTS metalloproteinases in cancer. Biochimie. 2008 Feb;90(2):369-79. Epub 2007 Sep 2. Review. (
  • Jones GC, Riley GP. ADAMTS proteinases: a multi-domain, multi-functional family with roles in extracellular matrix turnover and arthritis. Arthritis Res Ther. 2005;7(4):160-9. Epub 2005 Jun 21. Review. (
  • Nicholson AC, Malik SB, Logsdon JM Jr, Van Meir EG. Functional evolution of ADAMTS genes: evidence from analyses of phylogeny and gene organization. BMC Evol Biol. 2005 Feb 4;5:11. (
  • Porter S, Clark IM, Kevorkian L, Edwards DR. The ADAMTS metalloproteinases. Biochem J. 2005 Feb 15;386(Pt 1):15-27. Review. (
  • Apte SS. A disintegrin-like and metalloprotease (reprolysin type) with thrombospondin type 1 motifs: the ADAMTS family. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2004 Jun;36(6):981-5. Review. (


The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? ( in the Handbook.

Reviewed: October 2008
Published: February 8, 2016