Remodelling of the extracellular matrix (ECM) occurs during normal development, following tissue damage and is key in establishing metastatic niches for invading cancer cells. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have an important role in ECM degradation, although attributing a specific role for individual MMPs has been difficult owing to functional overlap with other proteases. Hald et al. now demonstrate that double-knockout mice lacking both plasmin and MMP9 suffer from lethal colonic inflammatory mass lesions that resemble lesions seen after mucosal prolapse in humans. By contrast, wound healing in skin is normal, indicating tissue-specific differences in ECM remodelling that might be clinically exploitable.
- Written by editorial staff. © 2011. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
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