Proteases classified by catalytic domains-enzyme

Proteases are classified on the basis of catalytic mechanism, and seven known distinct classes are described: metallo, aspartic, cysteine, serine, glutamic, asparagine, and threonine.

Serine proteases

Using a serine alcohol, display a wide range of functions.

Cysteine proteases

Using a cysteine thiol, that include caspases which are involved in apoptosis and inflammation, and cathepsins which promote protein degradation.

Threonine proteases

Using a threonine secondary alcohol

Aspartic proteases

Using an aspartate carboxylic acid, that include beta and gamma secretases, the two enzymes necessary to release amyloid beta peptides from the Alzheimer's disease associated amyloid precursor protein (APP).

Glutamic proteases

Using a glutamate carboxylic acid


Using a metal, usually zinc. The Metalloprotease family includes aminopeptidases and endopeptidases, which are secreted, membrane-bound, or cytosolic.

Asparagine peptide lyases

Using an asparagine to perform an elimination reaction (not requiring water)

Proteases molecule list