Survival of cells in their natural environment is crucially dependent on their ability to adapt to constantly occurring changes. The ability of cells to respond to extremes of environmental influences is vital to survival. Proteolysis is a central cellular tool in stress response. Proteins of pathways necessary for normal growth, but harmful under stress conditions, as well as proteins damaged by stress have to be eliminated. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a model eukaryote, has evolved two different proteolytic systems: (i) a membrane-enveloped, vacuolar (lysosomal) system, which contains a variety of non-specific peptidases and (ii) highly specific peptidases residing at different cellular locations. The best characterized peptidase of the specific system is proteinase yscE, the proteasome equivalent found in all eukaryotic cells. Both the vacuolar and the non-vacuolar systems are vital components of the stress response in yeast.