Proteins of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family are involved in the breakdown of extracellular matrix in normal physiological processes, such as embryonic development, reproduction, and tissue remodeling, as well as in disease processes, such as arthritis and metastasis. Most MMP's are secreted as inactive proenzymes which are activated when cleaved by extracellular proteinases. However, the protein encoded by this gene is a member of the membrane-type MMP (MT-MMP) subfamily; members of this subfamily can be anchored to the extracellular membrane by either a transmembrane domain or glycophosphatidylinositol linkage, suggesting that these proteins are expressed at the cell surface rather than secreted in a soluble form.
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