Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play a central role in normal tissue remodeling and disease, they regulate tumor microenvironment and their expression is increased in most human cancers. Targeting their activity remains a major challenge. Their production and activation is tightly regulated by complex mechanisms that include cytokines and growth factors, cell-matrix and cell-cell interactions. The observations of increased MMP level at the epithelio-stromal interface led to the identification of EMMPRIN/CD147, a membrane spanning molecule highly expressed in tumor cells, that stimulates MMPs production in neighboring fibroblasts. Later studies have shown that EMMPRIN can also induce MMP in the same population of cells. Elevated EMMPRIN level was detected in numerous malignant tumors and has been correlated with tumor progression in experimental and clinical conditions. The presence and modulation of EMMPRIN in normal tissues associated with increased MMP expression suggests that this EMMPRIN-mediated MMP induction could be a common mechanism in non-tumoral physiological and/or pathological situations. Targeting EMMPRIN in cancer and other pathological conditions such arthritis and ulceration appears a promising future therapeutic strategy, but requires a better understanding of its mode of action and regulation. Potential regulators that influence EMMPRIN level and its MMP inducing activity include growth factors, hormones, glycosylation and membrane shedding. This review will discuss the recent findings concerning these diverse regulatory mechanisms in various physiological and pathological situations.