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Review Article

Physiological Properties, Functions, and Trends in the Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors in Inflammation-Mediated Human Diseases

[ Vol. 30 , Issue. 18 ]


Il-Sup Kim, Woong-Suk Yang* and Cheorl-Ho Kim*   Pages 2075 - 2112 ( 38 )


Background: Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), also known as metalloproteinases, are enzymes that degrade proteins and require the presence of active metal atoms. There are more than 20 types of MMPs, and they promote cell migration through the proteolytic degradation of the extracellular basement. MMPs are upregulated in cancers and inflamed regions. MMPs have three conservation regions: pro-MMP, catalysis, and hemopexin. Through these domains, MMPs cleave matrixes and cell-cell barriers. Consequently, MMPs cleave the whole extracellular matrix (ECM). In other words, they decompose most of the components related to the ECM, in their roles as key enzymes in cellular and pathophysiological events in the body.

Introduction: Zn2+-containing endo-type peptidases directly degrade and remodel the ECM region in the progression of various diseases. MMPs are frequently found in abnormal disease status of inflammatory responses, periodontal lesion, inflammatory pulmonary lesion, arteriosclerotic smooth muscles, arthritis, and tumor metastasis and invasion. They are also known to participate in aging processes-such as wrinkle formation-by destroying collagen in the dermis. In particular, the onset of diseases via the MMP-dependent inflammatory response is caused by the breakdown of proteins in the ECM and the basement membranous region, which are the supporting structures of cells.

Methods: This review describes the developments in the research examining the general and selective inhibitors for MMP associated with various human diseases over the past 20 years in terms of structure remodeling, substrate-recognizing specificities, and pharmacological applicability.

Results: Among two similar types of MMPs, MMP-2 is known as gelatinase-A with a 72 kDa, while MMP-9 is termed gelatinase-B with a 92 kDa. Both of these play a key role in this action. Therefore, both enzymatic expression levels coincide during the onset and progression of diseases. Endogenous tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases (TIMPs) are highly specific for each MMP inhibitor type. The intrinsic factors regulate various MMP types by inhibiting the onset of various diseases mediated by MMP-dependent or independent inflammatory responses. The MMP- 9 and MMP-2 enzyme activity related to the prognosis of diseases associated with the inflammatory response are selectively inhibited by TIMP1 and TIMP2, respectively. The major pathogenesis of MMP-mediated diseases is related to the proliferation of inflammatory cells in various human tissues, which indicates their potential to diagnose or treat these diseases. The discovery of a substance that inhibits MMPs would be very important for preventing and treating various MMP-dependent diseases.

Conclusion: Considerable research has examined MMP inhibitors, but most of these have been synthetic compounds. Research using natural products as MMP inhibitors has only recently become a subject of interest. This review intends to discuss recent research trends regarding the physiological properties, functions, and therapeutic agents related to MMPs.


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP), MMP-9, MMP-mediated pathogenesis, inflammation, MMP inhibitors, ECM region.


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