The perceived role of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) as modulators of the extracellular matrix has been superseded by their establishment as key players in cell signaling in relation to the extracellular environment, including interactions with other cells through membrane-bound and secreted factors. This article outlines the recent developments in the cell biology of mammalian MMPs, with reference to the implications for their agonistic and antagonistic roles in pathological conditions. It is notable that there is still a paucity of information on the true activity of the MMPs in human disease in relation to the plethora of in vitro observations. It is now appreciated that a thorough understanding of specific physiological and pathological events, including the precise spatial and temporal focusing of MMP activities will be essential to identifying their roles. The availability of transgenic mouse models is proving to be of significant importance in addressing some of the issues. Detailed considerations of each topic may be found in the key review references cited and the references therein.
Murphy, G. (2015). Matrix Metalloproteinases. In Encyclopedia of Cell Biology (Vol. 1, pp. 621–629). Elsevier Inc. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-394447-4.10073-2