Dentin can be described as a biological composite with collagen matrix embedded with nanosized hydroxyapatite mineral crystallites. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and cysteine cathepsins are families of endopeptidases. Enzymes of both families are present in dentin and collectively capable of degrading virtually all extracellular matrix components. A review published in the Journal of Dental Research describes these enzymes and their presence in dentin, mainly focusing on their role in dentin caries pathogenesis and loss of collagen in the adhesive hybrid layer under composite restorations.
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