TIMPs as multifacial proteins

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2004 Mar;49(3):187-98. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2003.09.008.


Tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) are natural inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) found in most tissues and body fluids. By inhibiting MMPs activities, they participate in tissue remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM). The balance between MMPs and TIMPs activities is involved in both normal and pathological events such as wound healing, tissue remodeling, angiogenesis, invasion, tumorigenesis and metastasis. The intracellular signalling controlling both TIMPs and MMPs expression begins to be elucidated and gaining insights into the molecular mechanisms regulated by TIMPs and MMPs could represent a new approach in the development of potential therapeutics. Numerous investigations have pointed out that TIMPs exhibit multifunctional activities distinct from MMP inhibition. In this review, we detailed the multiple activities of TIMPs in vivo and in vitro and we reported their implication in physiological and pathological processes. Further, we documented recent studies of their role in hematopoiesis and we itemized the different signalling pathways they induced.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Hematopoiesis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / physiology*
  • Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases / chemistry
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases / physiology*


  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases