Protease-mediated ectodomain shedding

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Abstract

Ectodomain shedding is the proteolytic cleavage of cell surface proteins resulting in the loss of the extracellular domains. This mechanism is important in a variety of normal and pathological processes, including growth factor signalling, cell adhesion, inflammation and cell survival. Elevated protease activity in the lungs is a key pathological mechanism in emphysema which could enhance ectodomain shedding in lung cells. Here, the major steps and consequences of ectodomain shedding are reviewed.

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