Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Struct Biol. 2001 May-Jun;134(2-3):95-102.

The MEROPS database as a protease information system.

Author information

Molecular Enzymology Laboratory, The Babraham Institute, Cambridge, CB2 4AT, United Kingdom.


Peptidases (often termed proteases) are of great relevance to biology, medicine, and biotechnology. This practical importance creates a need for an integrated source of information about peptidases. In the MEROPS database (, peptidases are classified by structural similarities in the parts of the molecules responsible for their enzymatic activity. They are grouped into families on the basis of amino acid sequence homology, and the families are assembled into clans in light of evidence that they share common ancestry. The evidence for clan-level relationships usually comes from similarities in tertiary structure, but we suggest that secondary structure profiles may also be useful in the future. The classification forms a framework around which a wealth of supplementary information about the peptidases is organized. This includes images of three-dimensional structures, alignments of matching human and mouse ESTs, comments on biomedical relevance, human and other gene symbols, and literature references linked to PubMed. For each family, there is an amino acid sequence alignment and a dendrogram. There is a list of all peptidases known from each of over 1000 species, together with summary data for the distributions of the families and clans throughout the major groups of organisms. A set of online searches provides access to information about the location of peptidases on human chromosomes and peptidase substrate specificity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center