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Disease Markers
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 4895050, 7 pages
Review Article

A Tale of Two Joints: The Role of Matrix Metalloproteases in Cartilage Biology

Department of Physiology and Developmental Biology, Brigham Young University (BYU), LSB 4005, Provo, UT 84602, USA

Received 26 March 2016; Accepted 12 June 2016

Academic Editor: Fatma M. El-Demerdash

Copyright © 2016 Brandon J. Rose and David L. Kooyman. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Matrix metalloproteinases are a class of enzymes involved in the degradation of extracellular matrix molecules. While these molecules are exceptionally effective mediators of physiological tissue remodeling, as occurs in wound healing and during embryonic development, pathological upregulation has been implicated in many disease processes. As effectors and indicators of pathological states, matrix metalloproteinases are excellent candidates in the diagnosis and assessment of these diseases. The purpose of this review is to discuss matrix metalloproteinases as they pertain to cartilage health, both under physiological circumstances and in the instances of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and to discuss their utility as biomarkers in instances of the latter.