Membrane-type matrix metalloproteinases: Their functions and regulations.
Membrane-type matrix metalloproteinases (MT-MMPs) form a subgroup of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family, and there are 6 MT-MMPs in humans. MT-MMPs are further sub-classified into type I transmembrane-type (MT1, -MT2-, MT3- and MT5-MMPs) and glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored type (MT4- and MT6-MMPs). In either case MT-MMPs are tethered to the plasma membrane, and this cell surface expression provides those enzymes with unique functionalities affecting various cellular behaviours. Among the 6 MT-MMPs, MT1-MMP is the most investigated enzyme and many of its roles and regulations have been revealed to date, but the potential roles and regulatory mechanisms of other MT-MMPs are gradually getting clearer as well. Further investigations of MT-MMPs are likely to reveal novel pathophysiological mechanisms and potential therapeutic strategies for different diseases in the future.