This gene encodes a member of the ADAMTS (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs) protein family. Members of the family share several distinct protein modules, including a propeptide region, a metalloproteinase domain, a disintegrin-like domain, and a thrombospondin type 1 (TS) motif. Individual members of this family differ in the number of C-terminal TS motifs, and some have unique C-terminal domains. The enzyme encoded by this gene lacks a C-terminal TS motif. It can degrade aggrecan, a major proteoglycan of cartilage, brevican, a brain-specific extracellular matrix protein, neurocan and versican. The cleavage of aggrecan and brevican suggests key roles of this enzyme in arthritic disease and in the central nervous system, potentially, in the progression of glioma.