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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 that MMP 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.


Journal article


Curr Top Med Chem

Publication Date





1192 - 1205


Acute Coronary Syndrome, Animals, Atherosclerosis, Humans, Matrix Metalloproteinases, Plaque, Atherosclerotic, Platelet Aggregation, Ventricular Remodeling