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Nucleic Acids Res. 2006 Jan 1;34(Database issue):D270-2.

MEROPS: the peptidase database.

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The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire CB10 1SA, UK.


Peptidases (proteolytic enzymes) and their natural, protein inhibitors are of great relevance to biology, medicine and biotechnology. The MEROPS database ( aims to fulfil the need for an integrated source of information about these proteins. The organizational principle of the database is a hierarchical classification in which homologous sets of proteins of interest are grouped into families and the homologous families are grouped in clans. The most important addition to the database has been newly written, concise text annotations for each peptidase family. Other forms of information recently added include highlighting of active site residues (or the replacements that render some homologues inactive) in the sequence displays and BlastP search results, dynamically generated alignments and trees at the peptidase or inhibitor level, and a curated list of human and mouse homologues that have been experimentally characterized as active. A new way to display information at taxonomic levels higher than species has been devised. In the Literature pages, references have been flagged to draw attention to particularly 'hot' topics.

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