Matrix metalloproteinases: multifunctional contributors to tumor progression

Mol Med Today. 2000 Apr;6(4):149-56. doi: 10.1016/s1357-4310(00)01686-5.


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of extracellular matrix degrading proteinases. Owing to their matrix-degrading abilities and high expression in advanced tumors, MMPs were originally implicated in invasion and metastasis during cancer progression. However, recent work extends a role for MMPs during multiple stages of tumor progression to include other functions such as growth, angiogenesis and migration. Based on studies in animal models implicating MMP activity in cancer, synthetic MMP inhibitors are currently being tested in a clinical setting.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basement Membrane
  • Disease Progression
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / physiology*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases