Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are members of calcium dependent-zinc
containing endopeptidases that play a pivotal role in extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling.
MMPs are also known to cleave non-matrix proteins, including cell surface receptors,
TNF-α, angiotensin-II, growth factors, (especially transforming growth factor-β1, ΤGF-
β1) plasminogen, endothelin and other bioactive molecules. The tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases
(TIMPs) inhibit the activity of MMPs and decrease ECM degradation.
Various patho-physiological conditions have been linked with the imbalance of ECM synthesis
and degradation. Numerous studies have reported the significance of MMPs and
TIMPs in the progression of kidney pathologies, including glomerulonephritis, diabetic
nephropathy, renal cancer, and nephrolithiasis. Although dysregulated activity of MMPs
could directly or indirectly lead to pathological morbidities, their contribution in disease
progression is still understated. Specifically, MMP activity in the kidneys and it's relation
to kidney diseases has been the subject of a limited number of investigations. Therefore,
the aim of the present review is to provide an updated insight of the involvement of
MMPs and TIMPs in the pathogenesis of inflammatory and degenerative kidney disorders.