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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2005 Feb;37(2):283-8.

MMP-1: the elder of the family.

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Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Respiratorias, Apartado Postal 21-630, Coyoacan, México, DF, CP 04000, Mexico.


The matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of zinc-containing endopeptidases that play a key role in both physiological and pathological tissue remodeling. Human fibroblast collagenase (MMP-1) was the first vertebrate collagenase purified as a protein and cloned as a cDNA, and is considered the prototype for all the interstitial collagenases. It is synthesized as a zymogen where N-terminal residues are removed by proteolysis and shares with other MMPs a catalytic domain and a carboxy terminal domain with sequence similarity to hemopexin. Importantly, MMP-1 should be considered a multifunctional molecule since it participates not only in the turnover of collagen fibrils in the extracellular space but also in the cleavage of a number of non-matrix substrates and cell surface molecules suggesting a role in the regulation of cellular behaviour. Furthermore, an extensive body of evidence indicates that MMP-1 plays an important role in diverse physiologic processes such as development, tissue morphogenesis, and wound repair. Likewise, it seems to be implicated in a variety of human diseases including cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, pulmonary emphysema and fibrotic disorders, suggesting that its inhibition or stimulation may open therapeutic avenues.

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