Metalloproteinases in biology and pathology of the nervous system

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2001 Jul;2(7):502-11. doi: 10.1038/35081571.


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have been implicated in several diseases of the nervous system. Here we review the evidence that supports this idea and discuss the possible mechanisms of MMP action. We then consider some of the beneficial functions of MMPs during neural development and speculate on their roles in repair after brain injury. We also introduce a family of proteins known as ADAMs (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase), as some of the properties previously ascribed to MMPs are possibly the result of ADAM activity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / enzymology
  • Animals
  • Axons / enzymology
  • Central Nervous System / enzymology
  • Central Nervous System / growth & development
  • Central Nervous System Viral Diseases / enzymology
  • Disintegrins / metabolism*
  • Enzyme Activation / physiology
  • Glioma / enzymology
  • Humans
  • Metalloendopeptidases / metabolism*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Nervous System Diseases / enzymology*
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary / physiology
  • Stroke / enzymology


  • Disintegrins
  • Metalloendopeptidases