Matrix Metalloproteinases: A Review of Their Structure and Role in Systemic Sclerosis
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Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are the main enzymes involved in arterial wall extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation and remodeling, whose activity has been involved in various normal and pathologic processes, such as inflammation, fibrosis. As a result, the MMPs have come to consider as both therapeutic targets and diagnostic tools for the treatment and diagnosis of autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a rare autoimmune disease of unknown etiology characterized by an excessive over-production of collagen and other ECM, resulting in skin thickening and fibrosis of internal organs. In recent years, abnormal expression of MMPs has been demonstrated with the pathogenesis of SSc, and the association of different polymorphisms on MMPs genes with SSc has been extensively studied. This review describes the structure, function and regulation of MMPs and shortly summarizes current understanding on experimental findings, genetic associations of MMPs in SSc.
KeywordsMatrix metalloproteinase inhibitor inflammatory fibrosis systemic sclerosis
This work was partly supported by grants from the Academic Leader Foundation of Anhui Medical University and the Key Project of the Education Department of Anhui Province Natural Science Research (Code: KJ2012A165).
Conflict of Interest
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