Matrix metalloproteinases: molecular aspects of their roles in tumour invasion and metastasis

Eur J Cancer. 2000 Aug;36(13 Spec No):1621-30. doi: 10.1016/s0959-8049(00)00156-8.


The matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of proteolytic enzymes, whose physiological functions include tissue remodelling and embryogenesis. The importance of this group of proteins in the processes of tumour invasion and metastasis is now widely acknowledged, and has led to the search for MMP inhibitors for use as anticancer treatments in a clinical setting. This review aims to bring the reader up-to-date with current research relating to MMPs, with particular emphasis on emerging mechanisms of regulation of these enzymes, and their interaction with cell adhesion molecules. The therapeutic inhibition of MMPs will also be discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cadherins / physiology
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / physiology
  • Humans
  • Integrins / physiology
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / genetics
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / physiology*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / physiopathology*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / prevention & control
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / physiopathology*
  • Neoplasm Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Neoplasm Proteins / physiology*
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Cadherins
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Integrins
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases