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Front Pharmacol. 2011 May 13;2:111. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2011.00111. eCollection 2011.

MT-MMPS as Regulators of Vessel Stability Associated with Angiogenesis.

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Laboratory of Tumor and Developmental Biology, Groupe Interdisciplinaire de Génoprotéomique Appliquée-Cancer, University of Liege Liège, Belgium.


The development of vascular system depends on the coordinated activity of a number of distinct families of molecules including growth factors and their receptors, cell adhesion molecules, extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules, and proteolytic enzymes. Matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) are a family of ECM degrading enzymes required for both physiological and pathological angiogenesis. Increasing evidence, point to a direct role of membrane type-MMPs (MT-MMPs) in vascular system stabilization, maturation, and leakage. Our understanding of the nature of MT-MMP interaction with extracellular and cell surface molecules and their multiple roles in vessel walls and perivascular stroma may provide new insights into mechanisms underlying vascular cell-ECM interactions and cell fate decisions in pathological conditions. Regulation of vascular leakage by MT-MMP interactions with the ECM could also lead to novel targeting opportunities for drug delivery in tumor. This review will shed lights on the emerging roles of MT1-MMP and MT4-MMP in vascular system alterations associated with cancer progression.


MMPs; MT-MMPs; collagen; interstitial fluid pressure; vessel permeability

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