Matrix metalloproteinases in destructive pulmonary pathology

Elkington, P. T. G.; Friedland, J. S.
March 2006
Thorax;Mar2006, Vol. 61 Issue 3, p259
Academic Journal
journal article
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of proteolytic enzymes that have a number of important physiological roles including remodelling of the extracellular matrix, facilitating cell migration, cleaving cytokines, and activating defensins. However, excess MMP activity may lead to tissue destruction. The biology of MMP and the role of these proteases in normal pulmonary immunity are reviewed, and evidence that implicates excess MMP activity in causing matrix breakdown in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), sarcoidosis, and tuberculosis is discussed. Evidence from both clinical studies and animal models showing that stromal and inflammatory cell MMP expression leads to immunopathology is examined, and the mechanisms by which excess MMP activity may be targeted to improve clinical outcomes are discussed.


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