Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Matrix Metalloproteinases

  • M. Sharon Stack
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_3561-2



The matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), or matrixins, are a family of zinc-dependent metalloendopeptidases that are widely expressed. They cleave a variety of extracellular substrates including, but not limited to, protein and proteoglycan components of the extracellular matrix (ECM). MMPs belong to the metzincin family of endopeptidases, characterized by the presence of three zinc-binding histidine residues within the active site (HexxHxxGxxH). MMPs are believed to catalyze localized hydrolysis of extracellular matrix proteins including collagens, fibronectin, laminins, and proteoglycans, thereby modifying the integrity of the connective tissue.


Domain Structure

MMPs are synthesized as prepro-enzymes and, following removal of the signal peptide, are generally secreted in proenzyme or zymogen form. The latency of the zymogen is maintained by the presence of an unpaired cysteine residue in the propeptide domain (Fig. 1), contained...


Zymogen Activation Pericellular Proteolysis Tumor Cell Conditioned Medium Pace Family Essential Zinc 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northwestern University Medical SchoolChicagoUSA