Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are Zn2+-dependent endoproteases, which digest extracellular matrix (ECM) components and various non-ECM molecules. Main physiological role of MMPs concerns regulation of tissue remodeling and regeneration. The production and activity of MMPs are tightly supervised by multistage control mechanisms. These mechanisms include regulation of gene expression, and various post-transcriptional/post-translational modifications. However, without proper control MMPs reveal dual nature, similarly to character from the novella by R.L. Stevenson, “Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”. They become dangerous molecules, involved in cancer metastasis, or cardiovascular diseases.
Part of the book: Asthma