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The MMP2 gene provides instructions for making an enzyme called matrix metallopeptidase 2. One of the major known functions of matrix metallopeptidase 2 is to cut (cleave) a protein called type IV collagen. Type IV collagen is a major structural component of basement membranes, which are thin, sheet-like structures that separate and support cells as part of the extracellular matrix.

The activity of matrix metallopeptidase 2 appears to be important for a variety of body functions. These include the breakdown of the uterine lining (endometrium) during menstruation, formation, and growth of new blood vessels, repair of damaged tissues, differentiation of fat cells, fat mass development and inflammation. Matrix metallopeptidase 2 also plays a role in bone remodeling, which is a normal process in which old bone is broken down and new bone is created to replace it.

If you carry the C-allele/genetic variation for this gene, then you may be predisposed to long-term risk for weight gain, arthritis, endometriosis, and inflammation. Nutrigenomic research has shown that this genetic pathway requires adequate intake of zinc.