MMPs (matrix metalloproteinases) and ADAMs (a disintegrin and metalloproteinases) are endopeptidases central to the degradation and remodeling of the extracellular matrix. These proteases also exhibit regulatory activity in cell signaling pathways and thus tissue homeostasis under normal conditions and in many diseases. Consequently, individual members of the MMP and ADAM protein families were identified as important therapeutic targets. However, designing effective inhibitors in vivo for this class of enzymes appears to be extremely challenging. This is attributed to the broad structural similarity of their active sites and to the dynamic functional interconnectivity of MMPs with other proteases, their inhibitors, and substrates (the so-called degradome) in healthy and disease tissues.

PMID: 22646077 [PubMed - in process]