Matrix metalloproteases: underutilized targets for drug delivery

J Drug Target. 2007 Jan;15(1):1-20. doi: 10.1080/10611860600968967.


Pathophysiological molecules in the extracellular environment offer excellent targets that can be exploited for designing drug targeting systems. Matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) are a family of extracellular proteolytic enzymes that are characterized by their overexpression or overactivity in several pathologies. Over the last two decades, the MMP literature reveals heightened interest in the research involving MMP biology, pathology and targeting. This review describes various strategies that have been designed to utilize MMPs for targeting therapeutic entities. Key factors that need to be considered in the successful design of such systems have been identified based on the analyses of these strategies. Development of targeted drug delivery using MMPs has been steadily pursued; however, drug delivery efforts using these targets need to be intensified and focused to realize the clinical application of the fast developing fundamental MMP research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biotransformation
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Humans
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / drug effects*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / physiology
  • Prodrugs


  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • Prodrugs
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases