Matrix metalloproteinases in cancer: prognostic markers and targets for therapy (review).
Affiliations: Department of Nuclear Medicine and Education and Research Centre, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin 4, Ireland.
- Published online on: June 1, 1998 https://doi.org/10.3892/ijo.12.6.1343
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Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are zinc-dependent endopeptidases which catalyse degradation of diverse substrates in the extracellular matrix. The family can be loosely divided into 4 subgroups, i.e., interstitial collagenases, gelatinases, stromelysins and membrane-type MMPs. Data from model systems suggest that MMPs are involved in both stimulating tumor cell growth and promoting invasion and metastasis. Consistent with their role in tumor progression, high levels of certain MMPs have been shown to correlate with poor prognosis in different human cancers. Inhibitors of MMPs prevent or decrease tumor progression in model systems and are currently undergoing evaluation for the treatment of human cancers.