Updated biological roles for matrix metalloproteinases and new "intracellular" substrates revealed by degradomics

Biochemistry. 2009 Nov 24;48(46):10830-45. doi: 10.1021/bi901656f.


Shotgun proteomics techniques are conceptually unbiased, but data interpretation and follow-up experiments are often constrained by dogma, established beliefs that are accepted without question, that can dilute the power of proteomics and hinder scientific progress. Proteomics and degradomics, the characterization of all proteases, inhibitors, and protease substrates by genomic and proteomic techniques, have exponentially expanded the known substrate repertoire of the matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), even to include intracellular proteins with newly recognized extracellular functions. Thus, the dogma that MMPs are dowdy degraders of extracellular matrix has been resolutely overturned, and the metamorphosis of MMPs into modulators of multiple signaling pathways has been facilitated. Here we review progress made in the field of degradomics and present a current view of the MMP degradome.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / chemistry
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / physiology*
  • Metabolomics / methods*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Substrate Specificity / physiology


  • Matrix Metalloproteinases