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Destruction of extracellular matrix (ECM) leads to intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD), which underlies many spine-related disorders. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), and disintegrins and metalloproteinases with thrombospondin motifs (ADAMTSs) are believed to be the major proteolytic enzymes responsible for ECM degradation in the intervertebral disc (IVD). To summarize the current literature on gene expression and regulation of MMPs, ADAMTSs, and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) in IVD aging and IDD. A comprehensive literature review of gene expression of MMP, ADAMTS, and TIMP in human IDD and reported studies on regulatory factors controlling their expressions and activities in both human and animal model systems. Upregulation of specific MMPs (MMP-1, -2, -3, -7, -8, -10, and -13) and ADAMTS (ADAMTS-1, -4, and -15) were reported in human degenerated IVDs. However, it is still unclear from conflicting published studies whether the expression of ADAMTS-5, the predominant aggrecanase, is increased with IDD. Tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase-3 is downregulated, whereas TIMP-1 is upregulated in human degenerated IVDs relative to nondegenerated IVDs. Numerous studies indicate that the expression levels of MMP and ADAMTS are modulated by a combination of many factors, including mechanical, inflammatory, and oxidative stress, some of which are mediated in part through the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. Genetic predisposition also plays an important role in determining gene expression of MMP-1, -2, -3, and -9. Upregulation of MMP and ADAMTS expression and enzymatic activity is implicated in disc ECM destruction, leading to the development of IDD. Future IDD therapeutics depends on identifying specific MMPs and ADAMTSs whose dysregulation result in pathological proteolysis of disc ECM. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Citation

Nam V Vo, Robert A Hartman, Takashi Yurube, Lloydine J Jacobs, Gwendolyn A Sowa, James D Kang. Expression and regulation of metalloproteinases and their inhibitors in intervertebral disc aging and degeneration. The spine journal : official journal of the North American Spine Society. 2013 Mar;13(3):331-41

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PMID: 23369495

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