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 proproteins which are activated when cleaved by extracellular proteinases. It is thought that the protein encoded by this gene is cleaved at both ends to yield the active enzyme, but this processing has not been fully described. The enzyme degrades soluble and insoluble elastin. It may play a role in aneurysm formation and studies in mice suggest a role in the development of emphysema. The gene is part of a cluster of MMP genes which localize to chromosome 11q22.3. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008].
More information related to gene MMP12.