Proteins of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family are involved in the breakdown of extracellular matrix in normal physiological processes, such as embryonic development, reproduction, and tissue remodeling, as well as in disease processes, such as arthritis and metastasis. Most MMPs are secreted as inactive proproteins which are activated when cleaved by extracellular proteinases. MMP9 degrades type IV and V collagens. Studies in rhesus monkeys suggest that the enzyme is involved in IL-8-induced mobilization of hematopoietic progenitor cells from bone marrow, and murine studies suggest a role in tumor-associated tissue remodeling.
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