This is a subfamily of retropepsins. The family includes pepsin-like aspartate proteases from retroviruses, retrotransposons and retroelements. While fungal and mammalian pepsins are bilobal proteins with structurally related N- and C-termini, retropepsins are half as long as their fungal and mammalian counterparts. The monomers are structurally related to one lobe of the pepsin molecule and retropepsins function as homodimers. The active site aspartate occurs within a motif (Asp-Thr/Ser-Gly), as it does in pepsin. Retroviral aspartyl protease is synthesized as part of the POL polyprotein that contains an aspartyl protease, a reverse transcriptase, RNase H, and an integrase. The POL polyprotein undergoes specific enzymatic cleavage to yield the mature proteins. In aspartate peptidases, Asp residues are ligands of an activated water molecule in all examples where catalytic residues have been identified. This group of aspartate peptidases is classified by MEROPS as the peptidase family A2 (retropepsin family, clan AA), subfamily A2A.