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Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2012 Jun 1;302(11):F1351-61. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00037.2012. Epub 2012 Apr 4.

Matrix metalloproteinases in kidney homeostasis and diseases.

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Renal-Electrolyte Division, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 200 Lothrop St., Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of zinc-dependent endopeptidases that have been increasingly linked to both normal physiology and abnormal pathology in the kidney. Collectively able to degrade all components of the extracellular matrix, MMPs were originally thought to antagonize the development of fibrotic diseases solely through digestion of excessive matrix. However, increasing evidence has shown that MMPs play a wide variety of roles in regulating inflammation, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, cell proliferation, angiogenesis, and apoptosis. We now have robust evidence for MMP dysregulation in a multitude of renal diseases including acute kidney injury, diabetic nephropathy, glomerulonephritis, inherited kidney disease, and chronic allograft nephropathy. The goal of this review is to summarize current findings regarding the role of MMPs in kidney diseases as well as the mechanisms of action of this family of proteases.

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