Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) are a family of zinc-containing endoproteinases that degrade extracellular matrix (ECM) components. MMP have important roles in the development, physiology and pathology of cardiovascular system. Metalloproteases also play key roles in adverse cardiovascular remodeling, atherosclerotic plaque formation and plaque instability, vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) migration and restenosis that lead to coronary artery disease (CAD), and progressive heart failure. The study of MMP in developing animal model cardiovascular systems has been helpful in deciphering numerous pathologic conditions in humans. Increased peripheral blood MMP-2 and MMP-9 in acute coronary syndrome (ACS) may be useful as noninvasive tests for detection of plaque vulnerability. MMP function can be modulated by certain pharmacological drugs that can be exploited for treatment of ACS. CAD is a polygenic disease and hundreds of genes contribute toward its predisposition. A large number of sequence variations in MMP genes have been identified. Case-control association studies have highlighted their potential association with CAD and its clinical manifestations. Although results thus far are inconsistent, meta-analysis has demonstrated that MMP-3 Glu45Lys and MMP-9 1562C/T gene polymorphisms were associated with CAD risk.