Skip to main content

Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors

Matrix metalloproteinase inhibitors


Matrix metalloproteinases are a class of enzymes that can break down proteins, such as collagen and gelatin. Since these enzymes require zinc or calcium atoms to function, they are referred to as metalloproteinases. Matrix metalloproteinases function in tumor cell invasion and metastasis , wound healing, and angiogenesis. They are normally found in the spaces between cells (extracellular) in tissues and are involved in degrading extracellular matrix proteins like collagens and gelatins. The extra-cellular matrix compartments are the primary barriers to tumor growth and spread. Matrix metalloproteinase inhibitors are selective inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases. These agents inhibit tumor metastasis and angio-genesis (supplying the tumor with blood).


Matrix metalloproteinases have been linked to cancers such as breast, ovarian, colorectal, and lung. Synthetic matrix metalloproteinase inhibitors are being explored for use in cancer prevention and treatment because of their demonstrated antimetastatic and antiangiogenic properties. Matrix metalloproteinase inhibitors include compounds such as: Marimastat (BB-2516), COL-3, BAY 12-9566, and KB-R7785. Marimastat (BB-2516) was the first orally bioavailable matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor to enter clinical trials in the field of oncology. Developing nontoxic, orally active, MMP inhibitors is important because these compounds will likely need chronic administration in combination with other therapies.

Crystal Heather Kaczkowski, MSc.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors." Gale Encyclopedia of Cancer. . 20 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors." Gale Encyclopedia of Cancer. . (April 20, 2019).

"Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors." Gale Encyclopedia of Cancer. . Retrieved April 20, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.