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Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2000 Sep;2(5):407-16.

The role of proteinases in angiogenesis, heart development, restenosis, atherosclerosis, myocardial ischemia, and stroke: insights from genetic studies.

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  • 1Center for Transgene Technology and Gene Therapy, Campus Gasthuisberg, Herestraat 49, University of Leuven, Leuven, B-3000, Belgium.


The development of novel gene technologies in mice has provided an elegant tool to identify gene products that are causally linked to certain physiologic processes as well as the pathogenesis of numerous disorders. Using these techniques, three major proteolytic systems -- the plasminogen, the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) and the coagulation systems -- have been shown to be involved in cardiovascular diseases, which still constitute the leading cause of death in Western societies. This overview summarizes the role of these proteolytic systems in angiogenesis, arterial stenosis, allograft transplant stenosis, vein graft stenosis, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, cardiac development and ischemic stroke and discusses possible therapeutic implications.

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