Matrix-degrading proteases and angiogenesis during development and tumor formation

Zena Werb, Thiennu H. Vu, Julie L. Rinkenberger, Lisa M. Coussens

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


Embryonic development and tumor progression both require the exquisite coordination of programs for extracellular matrix (ECM) formation and remodeling, and those for angiogenesis and vascular development. Without a vascular supply the normal tissue or tumor is limited in size and organization. Without ECM remodeling the alteration of tissue and tumor boundaries and cellular migrations are limited. Recent insights into the molecular mechanisms regulating the extracellular environment of the growing embryonic tissue or tumors have implicated proteases, the matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in particular, in both the process of ECM remodeling and angiogenesis, and in a potential causal relationship between these processes. This review focuses on the roles that MMPs play in regulating three processes in which both proteolysis and vascular development are tightly coordinated: embryo implantation, bone development and tumor progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Angiogenesis
  • Apoptosis
  • Bone
  • Ets-2
  • Hypertrophic cartilage
  • Implantation
  • MMP- 9
  • Matrix metalloproteinases
  • Skin
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Trophoblast
  • VEG

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Microbiology (medical)


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