Metalloproteinases in dermal homeostasis

Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2022 Oct 1;323(4):C1290-C1303. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00450.2021. Epub 2022 Sep 12.


Maintenance of skin homeostasis is a highly regulated and complex process involving a continuous remodeling by several extracellular matrix proteases, including metalloproteinases. The expression and activity of all metalloproteinases are under strict control, and their deregulation is often associated with diseases or chronic conditions, thereby being considered popular targets for developing new therapeutics. This review will highlight metalloproteinases of the MMP and ADAM families with functions in dermal homeostasis and give some insights into the mechanisms regulating their activity and expression. Furthermore, we discuss how the dysregulation of the most prominent family members affects dermal homeostasis by triggering disease development and influencing progression, focusing on cancer and aging. Here, recent discoveries and new approaches that target or exploit metalloproteinase activity in therapy are emphasized. The potential of naturally derived components in regulating metalloproteinase expression and activity in disease is discussed.

Keywords: ECM proteolysis; aging; cancer; dermis; metalloproteinases.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Extracellular Matrix* / metabolism
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / metabolism
  • Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Proteolysis


  • Matrix Metalloproteinases