Evolutionary families of peptidases

Biochem J. 1993 Feb 15;290 ( Pt 1)(Pt 1):205-18. doi: 10.1042/bj2900205.


The available amino acid sequences of peptidases have been examined, and the enzymes have been allocated to evolutionary families. Some of the families can be grouped together in 'clans' that show signs of distant relationship, but nevertheless, it appears that there may be as many as 60 evolutionary lines of peptidases with separate origins. Some of these contain members with quite diverse peptidase activities, and yet there are some striking examples of convergence. We suggest that the classification by families could be used as an extension of the current classification by catalytic type.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases / chemistry
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases / chemistry
  • Databases, Factual
  • Endopeptidases / chemistry*
  • Endopeptidases / classification
  • Humans
  • Metalloendopeptidases / chemistry
  • Serine Endopeptidases / chemistry


  • Endopeptidases
  • Serine Endopeptidases
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases
  • Metalloendopeptidases