What are MMPs?
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Great question! MMPs is the acronym for matrix metalloproteases. Proteases are enzymes that break down (degrade) proteins. They occur naturally in all organisms and are involved in many physiological reactions in the body. There are four categories of proteases. Two of these categories are important to wound healing: MMPs and serine proteases, both of which are commonly referred to as inflammatory proteases. MMPs comprise 20 enzymes; each requires a metal (such as zinc) to catalyze their activity, which is why they are called metalloproteases. Studies have shown the proteases predominantly found in chronic wound fluid are MMP-2, MMP-8, MMP-9 and the serine protease, elastase. Elastase is inhibited by alpha-1 antitrypsin (or AAT) and is found in blood serum.