Skip to main content


Log in

Proteinases in cutaneous wound healing

  • Review
  • Published:
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences Aims and scope Submit manuscript


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.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to V.-M. Kähäri.

Additional information

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

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Toriseva, M., Kähäri, VM. Proteinases in cutaneous wound healing. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 66, 203–224 (2009).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: