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A hallmark of rheumatoid arthritis is the destruction of joint tissues, including cartilage by inflamed invasive synovial pannus tissue.

We found that MT1-MMP is a crucial proteinase to promote synovial cell invasion into cartilage tissue, and selective inhibition of MT1-MMP abrogates cartilage erosion during development of arthritis.

Our recent findings indicate that inhibition of MT1-MMP together with TNF blockage synergistically inhibited development of inflammatory arthritis, suggesting that MT1-MMP may be a novel target molecule for clinical intervention.

Investigation of how MT1-MMP inhibition can synergize with TNF blockade may also reveal pathogenesis of the disease.