Key role of protein has discovered paving the path for manipulating the immune system to speed up the healing process.

The findings could also lead to novel treatment for infectious and autoimmune diseases, Khaleej Times reported.

The team found that Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) 2 has another signalling role related to the human immune system.

"Our results show that MMP-2 uses a multitude of mechanisms to modulate the immune system," said lead investigator Nina Bhardwaj, director of immunotherapy at Tisch Cancer Center at Mount Sinai.

MMP-2 may shift a set of cells to become part of immune response that accelerates healing in some cases, but may worsen inflammatory disease in others.  

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