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Int J Low Extrem Wounds. 2009 Mar;8(1):19-27. doi: 10.1177/1534734609331596. Epub 2009 Jan 22.

Finding the culprit: a review of the influences of proteases on the chronic wound environment.

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  • 1Tissue Repair and Regeneration Program, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.


Chronic leg ulcers are a complex medical condition with varied underlying causes and requiring diverse treatment strategies. It is generally accepted that chronic ulcers occur when the normal wound healing process is interrupted. These wounds are characterized by excessive protease activity, abundant granulation tissue, and decreased levels of growth factors, resulting in an overall poor prognosis for the patient. Many studies have focused on identifying the key proteases, specifically matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), responsible for an ulcer's chronicity. Of note, the results of these studies are often conflicting. This report therefore focuses on a review of this literature to identify which MMPs are important in terms of ulcer prognosis and healing outcome. This has revealed that MMPs are clearly important in many biological processes in wound healing, hence are critical to consider when developing improved therapies to enhance both ulcer healing times and ulcer healing outcomes.

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