Proteases

Alan J. Barrett1

1 Babraham Institute, Babraham, Cambridge
Publication Name:  Current Protocols in Protein Science
Unit Number:  Unit 21.1
DOI:  10.1002/0471140864.ps2101s21
Online Posting Date:  May, 2001
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Abstract

The processes of growth and remodeling of cells and tissues in multicellular organisms require the breakdown of old protein molecules, in concert with the synthesis of new ones. For example, many newly‐synthesized molecules require proteolytic processing to convert them to biologically active forms. Proteolysis can terminate the activity of a protein—e.g., capsases mediate apoptosis, which is a vital step in the life cycle of the cell. Proteolysis contributes to defense systems too, as the recognition of peptide fragments of foreign proteins triggers the immune response. Proteases are the class of enzymes involved in these important reactions. This unit discusses the general categories of proteases, and sets the stage for addition of overview units on cysteine proteases, aspartic proteases, and metalloproteases, as well as protocol units featuring techniques for analyzing mammalian and yeast proteasomes and protease inhibitors, among other topics.

     
 
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Table of Contents

  • Biological Importance of Proteases
  • The Terminology of Proteases
  • Three Ways in Which the Many Proteases May Usefully be Subdivided
  • The MEROPS Database Reflects the Growth of Knowledge About Proteases
  • Figures
  • Tables
     
 
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Materials

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Figures

Videos

Literature Cited

Literature Cited
   Berger, A. and Schechter, I. 1970. Mapping the active site of papain with the aid of peptide substrates and inhibitors. Philos.Trans. R. Soc. Lond. Ser. B Biol. Sci. 257:249‐264.
   Bergmann, M. and Ross, W.F. 1936. On proteolytic enzymes. X. The enzymes of papain and their activation. J. Biol. Chem. 114:717‐726.
   Cohen, G.M. 1997. Caspases: The executioners of apoptosis. Biochem. J. 326:1‐16.
   Grassmann, W. and Dyckerhoff, H. 1928. Über die Proteinase und die Polypeptidase der Hefe. 13. Abhandlung über Pflanzenproteasen in der von R. Willstätter und Mitarbeitern begonnen Untersuchungsreihe. Hoppe‐Seylers Z. Physiol. Chem. 179:41‐78.
   Hartley, B.S. 1960. Proteolytic enzymes. Annu. Rev. Biochem. 29:45‐72.
   Lorand, L. and Mann, K.G. (eds.) 1993. Mammalian Blood Coagulation Factors and Inhibitors, Part A. Methods Enzymol. 222:1‐195.
   NC‐IUBMB (Nomenclature Committee of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology). 1992. Enzyme Nomenclature 1992. Recommendations of the Nomenclature Committee of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology on the Nomenclature and Classification of Enzymes. Academic Press, Orlando, Fla.
   Rawlings, N.D. and Barrett, A.J. 1993. Evolutionary families of peptidases. Biochem. J. 290:205‐218.
   Rawlings, N.D. and Barrett, A.J. 1999. MEROPS: The peptidase database. Nucl. Acids Res. 27:325‐331.
   Rawlings, N.D. and Barrett, A.J. 2000. MEROPS: The peptidase database. Nucl. Acids Res. 28:323‐325.
   Rawlings, N.D., Polgár, L., and Barrett, A.J. 1991. A new family of serine‐type peptidases related to prolyl oligopeptidase. Biochem. J. 279:907‐908.
   Seemüller, E., Lupas, A., Stock, D., Löwe, J., Huber, R., and Baumeister, W. 1995. Proteasome from Thermoplasma acidophilum: A threonine protease. Science 268:579‐582.
Key References
   Barrett, A.J., Rawlings, N.D., and Woessner, J.F. (eds.). 1998. Handbook of Proteolytic Enzymes. Academic Press, London.
  This recent volume is the most comprehensive single publication on proteolytic enzymes that has so far been produced.
Internet Resources
  http://merops.co.uk/
  Web site of the MEROPS database that provides links to much information on proteases that is available on the Internet.
  http://www.chem.qmw.ac.uk/iubmb/enzyme
  Web site for the latest update of the nomenclature for enzymes of the Nomenclature Committee of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
  http://www.chem.qmw.ac.uk/iubmb/enzyme/EC34
  Web site for the latest update of the nomenclature for peptidases of the Nomenclature Committee of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
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