Matrix Metalloproteinases in Remodeling of the Normal and Neoplastic Mammary Gland

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Abstract

Alterations in mammary gland structure andfunction are associated with changes in the expressionof members of the matrix metalloproteinase(MMP)3 family of enzymes. In this review, theevidence for a role for specific MMPs in mammary glanddevelopment and cellular differentiation, proliferation,and apoptosis is discussed. In addition, MMP expressionis altered during the development and progression of preneoplastic and neoplastic breast lesions.The expression of MMP family members in human breastcancer is described, and studies with mouse modelsystems addressing the role of MMPS in the initiation, growth, invasion, and metastasis of breastneoplasms are reviewed.