Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of zinc (Zn)-dependent endopeptidases that are collectively capable of cleaving virtually all extracellular matrix (ECM) substrates and play an important role in diverse physiological and pathological processes. The activity of MMPs is regulated at multiple levels. The transcriptional regulation of MMP appears to represent the key step in MMP regulation. There are diverse types of MMPs that differ structural and functionally. MMP-1 is the most ubiquitously expressed interstitial collagenase and has a prominent role in initial cleavage of the ECM. The level of MMP-1 expression can be infl uenced by different single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the promoter region. A functional polymorphism at position -1607 has been shown to alter the transcriptional activity of MMP-1 and was associated with diverse pathological processes. The aim of our review was to discuss some topics related to MMP in physiological and pathological processes, with a focus on MMP-1 polymorphism.