A disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs 7 (ADAM-TS7) is a metalloprotease that degrades COMP. ADAM-TS7 is up-regulated in articular cartilage and synovium from arthritis patients. The spacer domain and the thrombospondin type-1 domain are important for a tight interaction with the extracellular matrix. The conserved cysteine present in the cysteine-switch motif binds the catalytic zinc ion, thus inhibiting the enzyme. The dissociation of the cysteine from the zinc ion upon the activation-peptide release activates the enzyme.