Osteoarthritis (OA) is the leading cause of joint pain and disability in middle-aged and elderly patients, and is characterized by progressive loss of articular cartilage that eventually leads to a complex process involving degradation of various components of the cartilage matrix, chief among them are the cartilage-specific type II collagen (CII) and aggrecan. While the loss of aggrecan is thought to be an early and reversible process, degradation of CII is considered to be irreversible and a key step in the loss of structural and functional integrity of cartilage. Among the various matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), MMP-13 is specifically expressed in the cartilage of human OA patients and is not present in normal adult cartilage. It is the major collagenase in OA cartilage and has the highest activity against CII. However, the clinical utility of broad-spectrum MMP inhibitors developed for treatment of OA has been restricted by dose- and duration- dependent musculoskeletal side effects in humans. Consequently, selectively inhibiting the MMP-13 would seem to be an attractive therapeutic objective. This review mainly focuses on selective MMP-13 inhibitors development in terms of OA since the late 90s, in terms of synthetic compounds of low molecular mass incorporating specific zinc-binding groups, non-zinc-binding groups. In addition, dual inhibitors of MMP-13 and aggrecanase are also reviewed. Special emphasis is placed on logistic concerns for lead compound search as well as the structure – activity relationship (SAR) in this field. Through these methods, new hope is emerging for the treatment of OA through selective inhibition of MMP-13.
Keywords: Osteoarthritis, matrix metalloproteinases, selective inhibitors, synthetic compounds, derivatives, progress, musculoskeletal, non-zinc-binding groups, synovial inflammation, osteophyte, analgesics
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