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Review

Proteinases in the joint: clinical relevance of proteinases in joint destruction

Yvonne Rengel, Caroline Ospelt and Steffen Gay*

Author Affiliations

Center of Experimental Rheumatology, University Hospital Zürich, Gloriastrasse, CH-8091 Zurich, Switzerland

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2007, 9:221  doi:10.1186/ar2304

Published: 31 October 2007

Abstract

Proteinases are involved in essential steps in cartilage and bone homeostasis. Consequently, efforts have been made to establish their potential role in the pathology of rheumatic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and spondyloarthritis. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are sensitive markers of disease severity and response to treatment, and therefore they have potential in the assessment of rheumatic diseases. Despite disappointing early results with synthetic inhibitors of MMPs, there is still much scope for developing effective and safe MMPs inhibitors, and consequently to deliver new options to inhibit joint destruction.