Matrix metalloproteinases during wound healing – a double edged sword

Joan Röhl, Rachael Z. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The extracellular matrix (ECM) provides a framework for cells and gives skin its tensile strength and elasticity. Loss of its integrity necessitates the clearing of damaged components and the deposition of firstly a provisional matrix and later remodelling of the ECM to support a functionally intact tissue. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are an important family of enzymes that function in the breakdown of the ECM and modulate
the function of many biologically active molecules housed in the ECM. Through their enzymatic actions MMPs play a role in fundamental processes such as immune cell infiltration and ECM remodelling during wound repair. Their tight control is necessary for timely wound healing and excessive MMP activity participates in the development and persistence of chronic wounds, while reduced activity contributes to fibrosis. A number of inhibitors have been designed to target this activity and improve wound healing with limited success. Novel strategies are currently
being investigated to improve wound healing by targeting MMP modulating molecules.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-182
JournalWound Practice and Research
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


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