Molecular Biotechnology

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 241–266

Structural basis of matrix metalloproteinases and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases


DOI: 10.1385/MB:25:3:241

Cite this article as:
Maskos, K. & Bode, W. Mol Biotechnol (2003) 25: 241. doi:10.1385/MB:25:3:241


The matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) constitute a family of secreted/cell-surface-anchored multidomain zinc endopeptidases, all of which exhibit a catalytic domain of a common metzincin-like topology, and which are involved in degradation of the extracellular matrix but also in a number of other biologic processes. Normally, the proteolytic activity of the MMPs is precisely regulated by their main endogenous protein inhibitors, in particular the tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs). Disruption of this balance results in serious diseases such as arthritis, tumor growth, and tumor metastasis, rendering the MMPs attractive targets for inhibition therapy. Knowledge of their tertiary structures is crucial for a full understanding of their functional properties and their associations with dysfunctions. Since the reports of the first atomic structures of MMPs and TIMPs in 1994, considerable structural information has become available about both of these families of substances. Many of the MMP structures have been determined as complexes with synthetic inhibitors, facilitating knowledge-based drug design. This review focuses on the currently available 3D structural information about MMPs and TIMPs.

Index Entries

Proteinase matrix metalloproteinase tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases 

Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für BiochemieMartinsriedGermany

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