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Genes Dis. 2015 Mar 1;2(`1):26-34.

Targeting Matrix Metalloproteinases in Cancer: Bringing New Life to Old Ideas.

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794.
Department of Medicine/Cancer Prevention, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794.


Since the identification of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), a family of zinc-dependent endopeptidases, as being a driving factor for cancer progression and patient prognosis, MMPs have been studied extensively. Although early programs targeting MMPs were largely unsuccessful in clinical trials, they remain a viable and highly desirable therapeutic target based on preclinical studies and their role in disease progression. As information regarding the structure and function of these proteinases is compiled and biotechnology evolves, tools to develop better inhibitors is within our grasp. Improved methods for high throughput screening and in silico drug design programs have identified compounds which are highly potent, have high binding affinities, and exhibit favorable pharmacokinetic profiles. More recently, advances in drug delivery methods or compounds which bind outside the active site have brought new light to the field. In this review, we highlight the role of MMPs in cancer, clinical trials for MMP inhibitors, and novel approaches to targeting MMPs in cancer.

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