Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of zinc metallo-endopeptidases secreted by cells and are responsible for much of the turnover of matrix components. Several studies have shown that MMPs are involved in all stages of the atherosclerotic process, from the initial lesion to plaque rupture. Recent evidence suggests thatMMP activity may facilitate atherosclerosis, plaque destabilization, and platelet aggregation. In the heart, matrix metalloproteinases participate in vascular remodeling, plaque instability, and ventricular remodelling after cardiac injury. The aim of the present article is to review the structure, function, regulation of MMPs and to discuss their potential role in the pathogenesis of acute coronary syndromes, as well as their contribution and usefullness in the setting of the disease.
Keywords: Current Perspectives, Acute coronary syndromes, atherosclerosis, inflammation, matrix metalloproteinases, myocardial infarction, zinc metallo-endopeptidases, plaque formation, atherosclerotic process, initial lesion, plaque rupture, vascular remodeling, cardiac injury, acute coronary syndromes, endothelial dysfunction