Functional Roles of Matrix Metalloproteinases and Their Inhibitors in Melanoma

Salvatore Napoli, Chiara Scuderi, Giuseppe Gattuso, Virginia Di Bella, Saverio Candido, Maria Sofia Basile, Massimo Libra, Luca Falzone

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The extracellular matrix (ECM) plays an important role in the regulation of the tissue microenvironment and in the maintenance of cellular homeostasis. Several proteins with a proteolytic activity toward several ECM components are involved in the regulation and remodeling of the ECM. Among these, Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a class of peptidase able to remodel the ECM by favoring the tumor invasive processes. Of these peptidases, MMP-9 is the most involved in the development of cancer, including that of melanoma. Dysregulations of the MAPKs and PI3K/Akt signaling pathways can lead to an aberrant overexpression of MMP-9. Even ncRNAs are implicated in the aberrant production of MMP-9 protein, as well as other proteins responsible for the activation or inhibition of MMP-9, such as Osteopontin and Tissue Inhibitors of Metalloproteinases. Currently, there are different therapeutic approaches for melanoma, including targeted therapies and immunotherapies. However, no biomarkers are available for the prediction of the therapeutic response. In this context, several studies have tried to understand the diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic potential of MMP-9 in melanoma patients by performing clinical trials with synthetic MMPs inhibitors. Therefore, MMP-9 may be considered a promising molecule for the management of melanoma patients due to its role as a biomarker and therapeutic target.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 7 2020


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