About Us

The Apte Lab conducts fundamental research on extracellular matrix and the proteases that remodel it.

Why? Because extracellular matrix is the basis for existence of multicellular life forms. It provides the structural scaffold of every tissue and is a major regulatory influence on cells. We study it at the organ, tissue, cell and molecular scale, and investigate how protease dysregulation leads to a host of human conditions.

Matrix is continuously remodeled by balanced matrix production and removal by matrix degrading proteases. Matrix remodeling is crucial for morphogenesis, tissue repair and regeneration and is abnormal in many cardiovascular disorders, degenerative disorders such as osteoarthritis, cancer, fibrosis, birth defects and inherited connective tissue disorders. The ADAMTS proteases, a focus of our laboratory, are important participants in this process.

Some of our diverse research activities are highlighted below:

Versican and Hyaluronan are essential for vasculogenesis

Versican and Hyaluronan are essential for vasculogenesis

The proteome and degradome of infective endocarditis vegetations

The proteome and degradome of infective endocarditis vegetations

Primary cilium, hedgehog signaling, ciliogenesis, neural tube, axoneme, laterality, ciliopathy

ADAMTS9 and ADAMTS20 in ciliogenesis

Aortic aneurysm, aorta, blood vessel, dissection, vascular disease, aggrecan, proteoglycan, protease

Unique vascular architecture protects the newborn

Uterus, contraction, childbirth, dystocia, pericellular matrix, glycocalyx, integrin, focal adhesion, proteoglycan

Pericellular matrix controls focal adhesions

Aortic aneurysm, aorta, blood vessel, dissection, vascular disease, aggrecan, proteoglycan, protease

Aggrecan and ADAMTS5 in aortic aneurysm

Umbilical cord, artery, smooth muscle, cilium, vascular development

ADAMTS9 regulates vascular smooth muscle

Learn more about the Apte Lab and recent work.

Research Support

The laboratory has received support from several NIH institutes, including NIAMS, NEI, NICHD and the NIH-NHLBI Program of Excellence in Glycosciences, the Marfan Foundation, Arthritis Foundation and Sabrina's Foundation. Our current research is supported by the Allen Distinguished Investigator Program, through support made by The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group and the American Heart Association and NIH-NHLBI.

Extracellular matrix (ECM) is the inanimate material that surrounds cells and provides a scaffold for tissue and organ architecture. Because ECM undergoes constant remodeling by proteases, our lab undertakes fundamental research on ECM and proteases and applies it to a variety of diseases.

The ADAMTS proteases are a major focus of this laboratory. We study their intrinsic properties, biological mechanisms and roles in human disease, and investigate how their mutations cause birth defects affecting the heart, blood vessels, neural tube, eyes, palate and limbs.

Our research is also relevant to maternal-fetal health and inherited human connective tissue disorders such as Marfan syndrome and the acromelic dysplasias. We investigate acquired human disorders such as aortic aneurysms, osteoarthritis, cancer and cardiac failure. The laboratory makes extensive use of proteomics to identify protease substrates and define the proteolytic landscape of diseased human tissues.

Please click on the publications tab at the top of this page for publications or visit Dr. Apte's profile on Google Scholar and at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/.

Lay Summary

Our lab studies extracellular matrix, the mesh-like substance that determines the structure of tissues and organs. We are especially interested in how proteases, which break down proteins, affect the extracellular matrix. This breakdown is necessary for normal organ function, but when inadequate or in excess, it leads to a variety of disorders. We are applying the discoveries we make to treatment of illnesses such as osteoarthritis, cancer, and heart disease, and to help prevent birth defects involving the heart, eyes, and limbs.


Suneel S. Apte
Suneel S. Apte, M.B.B.S., D.Phil.
Staff
Location:ND2-29
aptes@ccf.org

Suneel Apte graduated from medical school at Bombay University. He interrupted his clinical training as an orthopaedic surgeon to obtain the D. Phil degree at the University of Oxford (Mentor: John Kenwright), where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He subsequently trained as a post-doctoral fellow with Bjorn Olsen at Harvard Medical School. His current interest is integrating genetics and cell biology with proteomics at the systems biology level to advance understanding of tissue turnover during embryonic development and a variety of human disorders.

Sumit  Bhutada
Sumit Bhutada, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
Location:ND4-22A
bhutads@ccf.org

Sumit Bhutada obtained his PhD at the National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health, Mumbai, India working with Geetanjali Sachdeva.  He trained in the area of female infertility resulting from endometrial factors, using proteomics as the principal technology. He has experience in gel-based and gel-free proteomics techniques and data analysis. He is currently involved in implementation of shotgun and terminomics analysis of complex samples to address critical questions in developmental biology and human disorders.

Daniel  Martin
Daniel Martin, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
Location:ND4-22A
martind4@ccf.org

Daniel Martin obtained his PhD in cell and molecular biology at the University of South Florida, in Tampa, with mentorship by Stanley M. Stevens Jr. and Brant Burkhardt. His background is in applied mass spectrometry-based proteomics techniques and analysis. His current research uses proteomics to investigate cardiovascular diseases using a combination of iTRAQ, and dimethyl labeling for both quantitative shotgun proteomics and terminal amine isotope labeling of substrates (TAILS). These methods provide insight into the proteome, the natural N-termini, and the proteolytic products present in the sample.

Timothy  Mead
Timothy Mead, Ph.D.
Research Associate
Location:ND4-22A
meadt2@ccf.org

Timothy Mead obtained his doctorate from the Molecular and Developmental Biology PhD program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center with Katherine Yutzey. He has a career interest in cardiac and musculoskeletal development and disease and he currently studies the role of extracellular matrix proteases in these systems.

Deborah  Seifert
Deborah Seifert
Research Technician
Location:ND4-22A
seiferd@ccf.org

Deborah Seifert is a graduate of Loyola University. She conducts a research project on connective tissue disorders affecting musculoskeletal tissues and provides support to logistics and research projects in the laboratory.

Siyu  Wang
Siyu Wang
Graduate Student
Location:ND4-22A
wangs@ccf.org

View publications for Suneel S. Apte, M.B.B.S., D.Phil.

Publications (2021)

Nandadasa S, Burin des Rozier C, Koch C, Tran-Lundmark K, Dours-Zimmermann MT, Zimmermann DR, Valleix S, Apte SS. A new mouse mutant with cleavage-resistant versican and isoform-specific versican mutants demonstrate that proteolysis at the Glu441-Ala442 peptide bond in the V1 isoform is essential for interdigital web regression. Matrix Biology Plus, 2021, In Press. Online at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2590028521000089

Nandadasa S, O'Donnell A, Murao A, Yamaguchi Y, Midura RJ, Olson L, Apte SS. The versican-hyaluronan complex provides an essential extracellular matrix niche for Flk1+ hematoendothelial progenitors. Matrix Biol. 2021 Jan 14:S0945-053X(21)00003-2. doi: 10.1016/j.matbio.2021.01.002.

Witten JC, Tan CD, Rodriguez ER, Shrestha NK, Gordon SM, Hussain ST, Apte SS, Unai S, Blackstone EH, Pettersson GB. Invasive Aortic Valve Endocarditis: Clinical and Tissue Findings from a Prospective Investigation. Ann Thorac Surg. 2021 Apr 8;S0003-4975(21)00651-2. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2021.03.072.

Balic Z, Misra S, Willard B, Reinhardt DP, Apte SS, Hubmacher D. Alternative splicing of the metalloprotease ADAMTS17 spacer regulates secretion and modulates autoproteolytic activity. FASEB J. 2021 Feb;35(2):e21310. doi: 10.1096/fj.202001120RR.

Publications (2020)

Arechederra M, Bazai SK, Abdouni A, Sequera C, Mead TJ, Richelme S, Daian F, Audebert S, Dono R, Lozano A, Gregoire D, Hibner U, Allende DS, Apte SS, Maina F. ADAMTSL5 is an epigenetically activated gene underlying tumorigenesis and drug resistance in hepatocellular carcinoma. J Hepatol. 2020 Nov 13:S0168-8278(20)33758-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2020.11.008. Online ahead of print.PMID: 33197513

Nandadasa S, Szafron JM, Pathak V, Murtada S-I, Kraft CM, O ’ Donnell A, Norvik C, Hughes C, Caterson B, Domowicz MS, Schwartz NB, Tran-Lundmark K, Veigl M, Sedwick D, Philipson EH, Humphrey JD, Apte SS. Vascular dimorphism ensured by regulated proteoglycan dynamics favors rapid umbilical artery closure at birth.  Elife. 2020 Sep 10;9:e60683. doi: 10.7554/eLife.60683. Accompanying Commentary: https://elifesciences.org/articles/63128

Martin DR, Witten JC, Tan CD, Rodrigues ER, Pettersson GB, Seifert DE, Willard BB, Apte SS. Proteomics identifies a convergent innate response to infective endocarditis and extensive proteolysis in vegetation components. JCI Insight 2020 Jun 16;135317. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.135317

Ataca D, Aouad P, Constantin C, Laszlo C, Beleut M, Shamseddin M, Rajaram RD, Jeitziner R, Mead TJ, Caikovski M, Bucher P, Ambrosini G, Apte SS, Brisken C. The secreted protease ADAMTS18 links hormone action to activation of the mammary stem cell niche. Nat Commun. 2020 Mar 26;11(1):1571. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-15357-y.

Zhang A, Berardinelli SJ, Leonhard-Melief C, Vasudevan D, Liu TW, Taibi A, Giannone S, Apte SS, Holdener BC, Haltiwanger RS. O-Fucosylation of ADAMTSL2 is required for secretion and is impacted by geleophysic dysplasia-causing mutations. J Biol Chem. 2020 Sep 10:jbc.RA120.014557. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA120.014557. Online ahead of print.

Evans DR, Green JS, Fahiminiya S, Majewski J, Fernandez BA, Deardorff MA, Johnson GJ, Whelan JH, Hubmacher D, Apte SS; Care4Rare Canada Consortium, Woods MO. A novel pathogenic missense ADAMTS17 variant that impairs secretion causes Weill-Marchesani Syndrome with variably dysmorphic hand featuresSci Rep. 2020 Jul 2;10(1):10827. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-66978-8

Koch CD, Lee CM, Apte SS. Aggrecan in Cardiovascular Development and Disease. J Histochem Cytochem. 2020 Sep 1:22155420952902. doi: 10.1369/0022155420952902.

Book chapters 2020:

Koch CD, Apte SS. Characterization of Proteoglycanomes by Mass Spectrometry. In, S. Ricard-Blum (ed.) Extracellular Matrix Omics, In the series, Biology of Extracellular Matrix, pp69-82. ISBN 978-3-030-58329-3 7. SpringerNature Switzerland AG 2020.https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-58330-9_4

Apte SS. ADAMTS Proteins: Concepts, Challenges, and Prospects. Methods Mol Biol. 2020;2043:1-12. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9698-8_1. Review.

Mead TJ, Apte SS.Visualization and Quantification of Pericellular Matrix. Methods Mol Biol. 2020;2043:261-264. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9698-8_21.

Mead TJ, Apte SS.Expression Analysis by RNAscope™ In Situ Hybridization. Methods Mol Biol. 2020;2043:173-178. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9698-8_14.

 Research articles (2019)

Wang LW, Nandadasa S, Annis DS, Dubail J, Mosher DF, Willard BB, Apte SS. A disintegrin-like and metalloproteinase domain with thrombospondin type 1 motif 9 (ADAMTS9) regulates fibronectin fibrillogenesis and turnover. J Biol Chem, 2019,294:9924-9936. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA118.006479

Hubmacher, D, Thacker, S, Adams SM,  Birk, D,  Schweitzer, R, Apte, SS. Limb- and tendon-specific   Adamtsl2   deletion identifies a soft tissue mechanism modulating bone length. Matrix Biology, 2019. pii: S0945-053X(18)30372-X. doi: 10.1016/j.matbio.2019.02.001. 

Nandadasa, S, Kraft, CM, O’Donnell, A, Wang, LW, O’Donnell, A, Patel, R, Gee HY, Grobe, K, Cox, TC, Hildebrandt F and Apte, SS. Secreted metalloproteases   ADAMTS9 and ADAMTS20 have a non-canonical role in ciliary vesicle growth   during ciliogenesis. Nature Communications, (2019) 10:953 | https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-08520-7

Choi YJ, Halbritter J, Braun DA, Schueler M, Schapiro D, Rim JH, Nandadasa S, Choi WI, Widmeier E, Shril S, Körber F, Sethi SK, Lifton RP, Beck BB, Apte SS, Gee HY,Hildebrandt F. Mutations of ADAMTS9 Cause Nephronophthisis-Related Ciliopathy. Am J Hum Genet. 2019 104:45-54. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2018.11.003.

Wang LW, Kutz WE, Mead TJ, Beene LC, Singh S, Jenkins MW, Reinhardt DP, Apte SS.  Adamts10 inactivation in mice leads to persistence of ocular microfibrils subsequent to reduced fibrillin-2 cleavage. Matrix Biol. 2019, 77:117-128.  pii: S0945-053X(18)30253-1. doi: 10.1016/j.matbio.2018.09.004. 

Jensen LD, Hot B, Ramsköld D, Germano RFV, Yokota C, Giatrellis S, Lauschke VM, Hubmacher D, Li MX, Hupe M, Arnold TD, Sandberg R, Frisén J, Trusohamn M, Martowicz A, Wisniewska-Kruk J, Nyqvist D, Adams RH, Apte SS, Vanhollebeke B, Stenman JM, Kele J. Disruption of the Extracellular Matrix Progressively Impairs Central Nervous System Vascular Maturation Downstream of β-Catenin Signaling. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2019 39:1432-1447. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.119.312388. 

Santamaria S, Yamamoto K, Teraz-Orosz A, Koch C, Apte SS, de Groot R, Lane DA, Ahnström J. Exosites in Hypervariable Loops of ADAMTS Spacer Domains control Substrate Recognition and Proteolysis. Sci Rep. 2019 Jul 29;9(1):10914. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-47494-w

Holdener BC, Percival CJ, Grady RC, Cameron DC, Berardinelli SJ, Zhang A, Neupane S, Takeuchi M, Jimenez-Vega JC, Uddin SMZ, Komatsu DE, Honkanen R, Dubail J, Apte SS, Sato T, Narimatsu H, McClain SA, Haltiwanger RS. ADAMTS9 and ADAMTS20 are differentially affected by loss of B3GLCT in a mouse model of Peters Plus Syndrome.  Hum Mol Genet. 2019 Oct 10. pii: ddz225. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddz225. [Epub ahead of print]

Graae AS, Grarup N, Ribel-Madsen R, Lystbæk SH, Boesgaard T, Staiger H, Fritsche A, Wellner N, Sulek K, Kjolby M, Backe MB, Chubanava S, Prats C, Serup AK, Birk JB, Dubail J, Gillberg L, Vienberg SG, Nykjær A, Kiens B, Wojtaszewski JFP, Larsen S, Apte SS, Häring HU, Vaag A, Zethelius B, Pedersen O, Treebak JT, Hansen T, Holst B.ADAMTS9 Regulates Skeletal Muscle Insulin Sensitivity Through Extracellular Matrix Alterations. Diabetes. 68(3):502-514. doi: 10.2337/db18-0418.

Research articles (2018)

Mead TJ, Du Y, Nelson CM, Gueye N-A, Drazba J, Dancevic CM, Vankemmelbeke M, Buttle DJ,  Apte SS. ADAMTS9-Regulated Pericellular Matrix Dynamics Governs Focal Adhesion-Dependent Smooth Muscle Differentiation. Cell Reports. 2018, 23; 2, 485-498.

Mead TJ, McCulloch DR, Ho JC, Du Y, Adams SM, Birk DE, Apte SS. The metalloproteinase-proteoglycans ADAMTS7 and ADAMTS12 provide an innate, tendon-specific protective mechanism against heterotopic ossification. JCI Insight. 2018 April5;3(7). pii: 92941. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.92941

Cikach FS, Koch CD, Mead TJ, Galatioto J, Willard BB, Emerton KB, Eagleton MJ, Blackstone EH, Ramirez F, Roselli EE, Apte SS. Massive aggrecan and versican accumulation in thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection. JCI Insight. 2018 Mar 8;3(5). pii: 97167. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.97167. 

Prins, B. , Mead, T.J. (joint first authors) et al. Exome-chip meta-analysis identifies novel loci associated with cardiac conduction, including ADAMTS6. Genome Biol  2018, 19:87. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13059-018-1457-6

Schnellmann R, Sack R, Hess D, Annis DS, Mosher DF, Apte SS, Chiquet-Ehrismann R. A selective extracellular matrix proteomics approach identifies fibronectin proteolysis by ADAMTS16 and its impact on spheroid morphogenesis. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2018 Apr 18. pii: mcp.RA118.000676. doi: 10.1074/mcp.RA118.000676. [Epub ahead of print]

Aviram R, Zaffryar-Eilot S, Hubmacher D, Grunwald H, Mäki JM, Myllyharju J, Apte SS, Hasson P.  Interactions between lysyl oxidases and ADAMTS proteins suggest a novel crosstalk between two extracellular matrix families. Matrix Biol. 2018 May 11. pii: S0945-053X(17)30448-1. doi: 10.1016/j.matbio.2018.05.003. 

A sampling of research publications from 2017 and earlier:

1. Hubmacher D, Schneider M, Berardinelli S, Takeuchi H, Willard B, Reinhardt DH, Haltiwanger R, and Apte SS. Unusual life cycle and impact on microfibril assembly of ADAMTS17, a secreted metalloprotease mutated in genetic eye disease. Scientific Reports, 2017;7:41871. doi: 10.1038/srep41871.

2. Dubail, J, Vasudevan, D, Wang, LW, Earp, SE, Jenkins, MW, Haltiwanger, RS, and Apte SS. Impaired ADAMTS9 secretion: A potential mechanism for eye defects in Peters Plus Syndrome. Scientific Reports. 2016.  6:33974. doi: 10.1038/srep33974.

3. Nandadasa, S., Nelson, C.M., Apte, SS. ADAMTS9-Mediated Extracellular Matrix Dynamics Regulates Umbilical Cord Vascular Smooth Muscle Differentiation and Rotation. Cell Reports 11:1519-28,  2015

4.  Enomoto, H., Nelson, C., Somerville, R.P.T., Mielke, K., Dixon, L., Powell, K., Apte, S.S. Cooperation of two ADAMTS metalloproteases in closure of the mouse palate identifies a requirement for versican proteolysis in regulating palatal mesenchyme proliferation. Development, 2010, 37:4029-38.

5. McCulloch, D.R., Nelson, C.M., Dixon, L.J., Silver D.L., Wylie, J.D., Lindner, V., Sasaki, T., Cooley, M.A., Argraves, W.S. and Apte, S.S. ADAMTS metalloproteases generate active versican fragments that regulate interdigital web regression. Developmental Cell 2009, 17:687-98. PMCID:PMC2780442.

Books

Apte SS. ADAMTS proteins: Concepts, Challenges and Prospects. Methods Mol Biol. 2020;2043:1-12. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9698-8_1.

Reviews, technical reports and commentaries

1. Mead TJ, Apte SS. ADAMTS proteins in human disorders.Matrix Biol. 2018 Jun 6. pii: S0945-053X(18)30179-3. doi: 10.1016/j.matbio.2018.06.002.

2. Apte, SS. Anti-ADAMTS5 monoclonal antibodies: implications for aggrecanase inhibition in osteoarthritis. Biochem J. 2016 Jan 1;473(1):e1-e4

3. Dubail J, Apte SS. Insights on ADAMTS proteases and ADAMTS-like proteins from mammalian genetics.Matrix Biol. 44-46:24-37 2015

4. Foulcer SJ, Day AJ, Apte SS. Isolation and purification of versican and analysis of versican proteolysis. Methods Mol Biol. 1229:587-604, 2015

5. Nandadasa S, Foulcer S, Apte SS. The multiple, complex roles of versican and its proteolytic turnover by ADAMTS proteases during embryogenesis. Matrix Biol. 2014, 35:34-41, 2014.

Book chapters

1. Apte, SS. Chapter 259. Connective Tissue Structure and Function. ed. Goldman L, and Shafer, A.I., Goldman-Cecil Textbook of Medicine, Twenty-Fifth Edition, Elsevier, New York, 2016, ISBN 9781455750177

2. Apte SS. ADAMTS proteases: Mediators of physiological and pathogenic extracellular proteolysis, in Bradshaw, R., and Stahl, P, eds, Encyclopedia of Cell Biology, Elsevier, New York, 2015, ISBN 9780123944474

3. Apte, SS. Chapter 2. Overview of the ADAMTS superfamily, in Rodgers, G., ed, ADAMTS13: Biology and Disease, Springer, New York, 2015, ISBN 9783319087160

4. Traboulsi I, and Apte SS. Chapter 43. Ectopia Lentis and Associated Systemic Disease, in Traboulsi, I., ed, Genetic Diseases of the Eye, Second Edition, Oxford University Press, USA, 2012, ISBN 9780195326147

Additional publications from our laboratory are obtainable from Dr. Apte's profile on Google Scholar and at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/


10/01/2020 |  

New Study Unveils the Cellular Mechanism of Umbilical Cord Vessel Closure Following Delivery

New findings from a study published in eLife related to umbilical cord biology, and led by a team of researchers in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, suggesting that delayed cord clamping following delivery may better align with how nature designed the umbilical arteries and vein. The study was initiated through the efforts of Elliot Philipson, MD, former Chair of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Cleveland Clinic.




08/12/2020 |  

Identifying Protein Makeup of Valvular Vegetations Can Help Diagnose Infective Endocarditis

Researchers Daniel Martin, PhD, Debbie Seifert and Suneel Apte, MBBS, DPhil, all from the Department of Biomedical Engineering—with support from Belinda Willard, PhD, of the Proteomics and Metabolomics Core, and clinical collaborators from the Heart, Vascular & Thoracic and Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Institutes—have identified prospective novel biomarkers that may aid physicians in diagnosing infective endocarditis, a serious infection of the heart valves characterized by vegetations that form on the inner walls of the heart.




03/27/2019 |  

The Unexpected Role of Secreted Proteases in Birth Defects

A group of Cleveland Clinic researchers have identified how the proteases ADAMTS9 and ADAMTS20 contribute to embryonic development and how defects in these enzymes lead to serious birth defects.




08/10/2018 |  

Rare Gene Variants Related to Cardiac Dysfunction Identified

An international team of researchers, including scientists from Lerner Research Institute, has uncovered new loci (chromosomal regions) associated with heart function and development.




04/24/2018 |  

Smooth Delivery: ADAMTS9 Enhances Uterine Smooth Muscle Contractions

Rates of fetal and maternal morbidity and mortality in the United States are on the rise. A new Cleveland Clinic study shows how abnormal accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) prevents smooth muscle cells (SMCs) in the uterus from properly contracting, which can cause prolonged or arrested delivery and lead to poor health outcomes.




Contact Us

The Apte Laboratory
Lerner Research Institute
9500 Euclid Avenue
Mail Code: ND20
Cleveland, OH 44195

Phone: 216.445.3284
Fax: 216.444.9198