MEROPS: the database of proteolytic enzymes, their substrates and inhibitors

Nucleic Acids Res. 2014 Jan;42(Database issue):D503-9. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkt953. Epub 2013 Oct 23.


Peptidases, their substrates and inhibitors are of great relevance to biology, medicine and biotechnology. The MEROPS database ( aims to fulfill the need for an integrated source of information about these. The database has hierarchical classifications in which homologous sets of peptidases and protein inhibitors are grouped into protein species, which are grouped into families, which are in turn grouped into clans. Recent developments include the following. A community annotation project has been instigated in which acknowledged experts are invited to contribute summaries for peptidases. Software has been written to provide an Internet-based data entry form. Contributors are acknowledged on the relevant web page. A new display showing the intron/exon structures of eukaryote peptidase genes and the phasing of the junctions has been implemented. It is now possible to filter the list of peptidases from a completely sequenced bacterial genome for a particular strain of the organism. The MEROPS filing pipeline has been altered to circumvent the restrictions imposed on non-interactive blastp searches, and a HMMER search using specially generated alignments to maximize the distribution of organisms returned in the search results has been added.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / enzymology
  • Databases, Protein*
  • Exons
  • Internet
  • Introns
  • Peptide Hydrolases / chemistry
  • Peptide Hydrolases / classification*
  • Peptide Hydrolases / genetics
  • Protease Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Protease Inhibitors / classification*
  • Proteolysis
  • Sequence Alignment


  • Protease Inhibitors
  • Peptide Hydrolases