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Gan To Kagaku Ryoho. 1998 Jun;25(7):957-64.

[Recent progress of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) research and its clinical application for cancer therapy].

[Article in Japanese]

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Dept. of Surgery, School of Medicine, Keio University, Japan.


The matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of secreted and membrane-bound zinc-endopeptidases. These enzymes are capable of degrading the extracellular matrix, including collagens, laminin, proteoglycan and fibronectin. In some human cancers, a positive correlation has been demonstrated between MMP expression and the likelihood of developing metastasis. An imbalance between MMPs and the tissues inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) may play a significant role in the invasive phenotype of cancers. Although TIMPs have been shown to inhibit tumor metastasis in some in vivo models, they are not suitable for pharmacologic applications due to their short half-life in vivo and large molecular size. In this paper, recent advances in MMP research and reports of clinical applications of synthetic MMP inhibitors for cancer patients are reviewed.

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