, Volume 66, Issue 2, pp 203-224
Date: 22 Sep 2008

Proteinases in cutaneous wound healing

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Cutaneous wound healing is a complex and highly coordinated process where a number of different cell types participate to renew the damaged tissue under the strict regulation of soluble and insoluble factors. One of the most versatile processes involved in wound repair is proteolysis. During cell migration, proteins of extracellular matrix are cleaved, often creating biologically active cleavage products, and proteolysis of cellular contacts leads to increased cell motility and division. Moreover, proteases activate various growth factors and other proteases in wound and regulate growth factor signaling by shedding growth factor receptors on cell surface. Normally, proteolysis is strictly controlled, and changes in protease activity are associated with alterations in wound closure and scar formation. Here, we present the current view on the role of metalloproteinases and the plasmin-plasminogen system in normal and aberrant cutaneous wound repair and discuss their role as potential therapeutic targets for chronic ulcers or fibrotic scars.

Received 07 July 2008; received after revision 11 August 2008; accepted 13 August 2008