Degradation of the extracellular matrix is an important feature of embryonic development, morphogenesis, angiogenesis, tissue
repair and remodeling. It is precisely regulated under physiological conditions, but when dysregulated it becomes a cause of many diseases,
including atherosclerosis, osteoarthritis, diabetic vascular complications, and neurodegeneration. Various types of proteinases are
implicated in extracellular matrix degradation, but the major enzymes are considered to be metalloproteinases such as matrix metalloproteinases
(MMPs) and disintegrin and metalloproteinase domain (ADAMs) that include ADAMs with a thrombospondin domain
(ADAMTS). This review discusses involvement of the major metalloproteinases in some age-related chronic diseases, and examines
what is currently known about the beneficial effects of their inhibitors, used as new therapeutic strategies for treating or preventing the
development and progression of these diseases.
Keywords: Metalloproteinases, metalloproteinase inhibitors, atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, neurodegenerative diseases, osteoarthritis.
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