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Bratisl Lek Listy. 2005;106(3):127-32.

Matrix metalloproteinases: their biological functions and clinical implications.

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1
Institute of Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Safarikiensis University, Kosice, Slovakia. hijova@pobox.sk

Abstract

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), which are also known as matrixins, are proteinases that participate in extracellular matrix remodelling and degradation. Under normal physiological conditions, the activities of MMPs are precisely regulated at the level of transcription, at that of activation of the pro-MMP precursor zymogenes as well as at that of inhibition by endogenous inhibitors (tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases, TIMPs). Alterations in the regulation of MMP activity are implicated in diseases such as cancer, fibrosis, arthritis and atherosclerosis. The pathological effects of MMPs and TIMPs in cardiovascular diseases involve vascular remodelling, atherosclerotic plaque instability and cardiac remodelling in congestive heart failure or after myocardial infarction. Since excessive tissue remodelling and increased matrix metalloproteinases activity have been demonstrated during atherosclerotic lesion progression (including plaque disruption), MMPs represent a potential target for therapeutic intervention aimed at the modification of vascular pathology by restoring the physiological balance between MMPs and TIMPs. Recent findings suggest that MMPs are also involved in cancer initiation, invasion and metastasis; MMP inhibitors could be considered for evaluation as cancer chemopreventive molecules. This review describes the members of MMP and TIMP families and discusses the structure, function and regulation of MMP activity. (Tab. 1, Ref: 45.)

PMID:
16026148
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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