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[The MMP/TIMP system in the nervous system]

Med Sci (Paris).2004 Jan ;20(1):55-60
[The MMP/TIMP system in the nervous system]
Rivera S, Jourquin J, Ogier C, Bernard A, Charton G, Tremblay E, Khrestchatisky M.

The matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) belong to a growing family of secreted or membrane-bound (MT-MMP) enzymes that cleave protein components of the extracellular matrix and bioactive factors involved in intercellular signaling. MMP activity is counterbalanced by their four physiological inhibitors, the tissue inhibitors of MMP (TIMPs). Together, MMP and TIMP control cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions associated with physiological processes. However, the breakdown of the protease-inhibitor balance may lead to the loss of tissue homeostasis and the development of degenerative and tumorigenic processes in various tissues. The emerging idea is that the MMP/TIMP system also plays a major role in the pathology and physiology of the nervous system and that mastering MMP activity will set the basis for new and more efficient therapeutic strategies against nervous system disorders.


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