Two endopeptidases are present in the seeds of Vigna aconitifolia (moth bean), and their activities increase during germination. One enzyme, which we term "vignain," can be assayed with benzyloxycarbonyl-phenylalanyl-arginyl-7-(4-methyl)coumarylamide as substrate. The second is legumain (EC 22.214.171.124), which can be assayed with benzyloxycarbonyl-alanyl-alanyl-asparaginyl-7-(4-methyl)-coumarylamide. The enzymes were purified, and their specificities for substrates and inhibitors were examined. Vignain has properties expected of a cysteine endopeptidase of the papain family, with the exception of a remarkably low reactivity with iodoacetate. Legumain is a very atypical cysteine endopeptidase, being insensitive to inhibition by chicken cystatin and E-64 (L-3-carboxy-2,3-trans-epoxypropionyl-leucyl-amido(4-guanidino )butane), and reacting more rapidly with iodoacetamide than with iodoacetate. We discuss our findings in relation to the literature on the proteolytic enzymes of legume seeds.