Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are important in dermatology as they are involved in remodelling extracellular matrix (ECM). It is a big family of enzymes, all having a common domain structure with a pro-peptide region, catalytic domain, hinge region and the haemopexin-like C-terminal domain. They are involved in a variety of biological functions. MMP1 is involved in the premature ageing in smokers. Inhibition of certain MMPs have anti-ageing effect while inhibition of others promote hyperproliferative disorders and scars. However because of the structural similarities, rational design of specific inhibitors are very difficult. Most of the rationally designed MMP inhibitors like marimastat (BB-2516) and cipemastat (Ro 32-3555) have performed poorly in clinical studies.
|This is a Graph showing the mutual activation of matrix metallo-proteinases. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
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