Site-2 protease (S2P) class of zinc metalloproteases (MEROPS family M50) cleaves transmembrane domains of substrate proteins, regulating intramembrane proteolysis (RIP) of diverse signal transduction mechanisms. Members of this family use proteolytic activity within the membrane to transfer information across membranes to integrate gene expression with physiologic stresses occurring in another cellular compartment. The domain core structure appears to contain at least three transmembrane helices with a catalytic zinc atom coordinated by three conserved residues contained within the consensus sequence HExxH, together with a conserved aspartate residue. The S2P/M50 family of RIP proteases is widely distributed; in eukaryotic cells, they regulate such processes as sterol and lipid metabolism, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress responses. In sterol-depleted mammalian cells, a two-step proteolytic process releases the N-terminal domains of sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs) from membranes of the ER. These domains translocate into the nucleus, where they activate genes of cholesterol and fatty acid biosynthesis. It is the second proteolytic step that is carried out by the SREBP Site-2 protease (S2P) which is present in this CD superfamily. Prokaryotic S2P/M50 homologs have been shown to regulate stress responses, sporulation, cell division, and cell differentiation. In Escherichia coli, the S2P homolog RseP is involved in the sigmaE pathway of extracytoplasmic stress responses, and in Bacillus subtilis, the S2P homolog SpoIVFB is involved in the pro-sigmaK pathway of spore formation. Some of the subfamilies within this hierarchy contain one or two PDZ domain insertions, with putative regulatory roles, such as the inhibition of substrate cleavage as seen by the RseP PDZ domain.