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Database information

MEROPS (The peptidase database)

General information

Description: The MEROPS database is an integrated source of information about peptidases, their substrates and inhibitors. The hierarchical classification is: protein-species, family, clan, with an identifier at each level.
Year founded: 1999
Last update:
Version: 12.0
Accessibility:
Manual:
Accessible
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Country/Region: United Kingdom
Data type:
Data object:
Database category:
Major organism:
Keywords:

Contact information

University/Institution: European Bioinformatics Institute
Address: EMBL European Bioinformatics Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire CB10 1SD, UK
City:
Province/State:
Country/Region: United Kingdom
Contact name (PI/Team): Neil D Rawlings
Contact email (PI/Helpdesk): ndr@ebi.ac.uk

Record metadata

Created on: 2018-01-29
Curated by:
huma shireen [2018-08-27]
Sidra Younas [2018-04-18]
zhang yang [2018-01-28]

Ranking

All databases:
61/4549 (98.681%)
Gene genome and annotation:
28/1211 (97.77%)
Metadata:
2/436 (99.771%)
61
Total Rank
2,941
Citations
140.048
z-index

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Publications

29145643
The MEROPS database of proteolytic enzymes, their substrates and inhibitors in 2017 and a comparison with peptidases in the PANTHER database. [PMID: 29145643]
Rawlings ND, Barrett AJ, Thomas PD, Huang X, Bateman A, Finn RD.

The MEROPS database (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/merops/) is an integrated source of information about peptidases, their substrates and inhibitors. The hierarchical classification is: protein-species, family, clan, with an identifier at each level. The MEROPS website moved to the EMBL-EBI in 2017, requiring refactoring of the code-base and services provided. The interface to sequence searching has changed and the MEROPS protein sequence libraries can be searched at the EMBL-EBI with HMMER, FastA and BLASTP. Cross-references have been established between MEROPS and the PANTHER database at both the family and protein-species level, which will help to improve curation and coverage between the resources. Because of the increasing size of the MEROPS sequence collection, in future only sequences of characterized proteins, and from completely sequenced genomes of organisms of evolutionary, medical or commercial significance will be added. As an example, peptidase homologues in four proteomes from the Asgard superphylum of Archaea have been identified and compared to other archaean, bacterial and eukaryote proteomes. This has given insights into the origins and evolution of peptidase families, including an expansion in the number of proteasome components in Asgard archaeotes and as organisms increase in complexity. Novel structures for proteasome complexes in archaea are postulated.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2018:46(D1) | 77 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2020-05-30)
26527717
Twenty years of the MEROPS database of proteolytic enzymes, their substrates and inhibitors. [PMID: 26527717]
Rawlings ND, Barrett AJ, Finn R.

The MEROPS database (http://merops.sanger.ac.uk) is an integrated source of information about peptidases, their substrates and inhibitors, which are of great relevance to biology, medicine and biotechnology. The hierarchical classification of the database is as follows: homologous sets of sequences are grouped into a protein species; protein species are grouped into a family; families are grouped into clans. There is a type example for each protein species (known as a 'holotype'), family and clan, and each protein species, family and clan has its own unique identifier. Pages to show the involvement of peptidases and peptidase inhibitors in biological pathways have been created. Each page shows the peptidases and peptidase inhibitors involved in the pathway, along with the known substrate cleavages and peptidase-inhibitor interactions, and a link to the KEGG database of biological pathways. Links have also been established with the IUPHAR Guide to Pharmacology. A new service has been set up to allow the submission of identified substrate cleavages so that conservation of the cleavage site can be assessed. This should help establish whether or not a cleavage site is physiologically relevant on the basis that such a cleavage site is likely to be conserved.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2016:44(D1) | 242 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2020-05-30)
24157837
MEROPS: the database of proteolytic enzymes, their substrates and inhibitors. [PMID: 24157837]
Rawlings ND, Waller M, Barrett AJ, Bateman A.

Peptidases, their substrates and inhibitors are of great relevance to biology, medicine and biotechnology. The MEROPS database (http://merops.sanger.ac.uk) 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.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2014:42(Database issue) | 326 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2020-05-30)
22086950
MEROPS: the database of proteolytic enzymes, their substrates and inhibitors. [PMID: 22086950]
Rawlings ND, Barrett AJ, Bateman A.

Peptidases, their substrates and inhibitors are of great relevance to biology, medicine and biotechnology. The MEROPS database (http://merops.sanger.ac.uk) aims to fulfil 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. The database has been expanded to include proteolytic enzymes other than peptidases. Special identifiers for peptidases from a variety of model organisms have been established so that orthologues can be detected in other species. A table of predicted active-site residue and metal ligand positions and the residue ranges of the peptidase domains in orthologues has been added to each peptidase summary. New displays of tertiary structures, which can be rotated or have the surfaces displayed, have been added to the structure pages. New indexes for gene names and peptidase substrates have been made available. Among the enhancements to existing features are the inclusion of small-molecule inhibitors in the tables of peptidase-inhibitor interactions, a table of known cleavage sites for each protein substrate, and tables showing the substrate-binding preferences of peptidases derived from combinatorial peptide substrate libraries.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2012:40(Database issue) | 460 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2020-05-30)
19892822
MEROPS: the peptidase database. [PMID: 19892822]
Rawlings ND, Barrett AJ, Bateman A.

Peptidases, their substrates and inhibitors are of great relevance to biology, medicine and biotechnology. The MEROPS database (http://merops.sanger.ac.uk) aims to fulfil the need for an integrated source of information about these. The database has a hierarchical classification 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. The classification framework is used for attaching information at each level. An important focus of the database has become distinguishing one peptidase from another through identifying the specificity of the peptidase in terms of where it will cleave substrates and with which inhibitors it will interact. We have collected over 39,000 known cleavage sites in proteins, peptides and synthetic substrates. These allow us to display peptidase specificity and alignments of protein substrates to give an indication of how well a cleavage site is conserved, and thus its probable physiological relevance. While the number of new peptidase families and clans has only grown slowly the number of complete genomes has greatly increased. This has allowed us to add an analysis tool to the relevant species pages to show significant gains and losses of peptidase genes relative to related species.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2010:38(Database issue) | 385 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2020-05-30)
20157488
A large and accurate collection of peptidase cleavages in the MEROPS database. [PMID: 20157488]
Rawlings ND.

Peptidases are enzymes that hydrolyse peptide bonds in proteins and peptides. Peptidases are important in pathological conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, tumour and parasite invasion, and for processing viral polyproteins. The MEROPS database is an Internet resource containing information on peptidases, their substrates and inhibitors. The database now includes details of cleavage positions in substrates, both physiological and non-physiological, natural and synthetic. There are 39 118 cleavages in the collection; including 34 606 from a total of 10 513 different proteins and 2677 cleavages in synthetic substrates. The number of cleavages designated as 'physiological' is 13 307. The data are derived from 6095 publications. At least one substrate cleavage is known for 45% of the 2415 different peptidases recognized in the MEROPS database. The website now has three new displays: two showing peptidase specificity as a logo and a frequency matrix, the third showing a dynamically generated alignment between each protein substrate and its most closely related homologues. Many of the proteins described in the literature as peptidase substrates have been studied only in vitro. On the assumption that a physiologically relevant cleavage site would be conserved between species, the conservation of every site in terms of peptidase preference has been examined and a number have been identified that are not conserved. There are a number of cogent reasons why a site might not be conserved. Each poorly conserved site has been examined and a reason postulated. Some sites are identified that are very poorly conserved where cleavage is more likely to be fortuitous than of physiological relevance. This data-set is freely available via the Internet and is a useful training set for algorithms to predict substrates for peptidases and cleavage positions within those substrates. The data may also be useful for the design of inhibitors and for engineering novel specificities into peptidases.Database URL:http://merops.sanger.ac.uk.

Database (Oxford). 2009:2009() | 17 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2020-05-30)
17991683
MEROPS: the peptidase database. [PMID: 17991683]
Rawlings ND, Morton FR, Kok CY, Kong J, Barrett AJ.

Peptidases (proteolytic enzymes or proteases), their substrates and inhibitors are of great relevance to biology, medicine and biotechnology. The MEROPS database (http://merops.sanger.ac.uk) aims to fulfil the need for an integrated source of information about these. The organizational principle of the database is a hierarchical classification in which homologous sets of peptidases and protein inhibitors are grouped into protein species, which are grouped into families and in turn grouped into clans. Important additions to the database include newly written, concise text annotations for peptidase clans and the small molecule inhibitors that are outside the scope of the standard classification; displays to show peptidase specificity compiled from our collection of known substrate cleavages; tables of peptidase-inhibitor interactions; and dynamically generated alignments of representatives of each protein species at the family level. New ways to compare peptidase and inhibitor complements between any two organisms whose genomes have been completely sequenced, or between different strains or subspecies of the same organism, have been devised.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2008:36(Database issue) | 311 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2020-05-30)
16381862
MEROPS: the peptidase database. [PMID: 16381862]
Rawlings ND, Morton FR, Barrett AJ.

Peptidases (proteolytic enzymes) and their natural, protein inhibitors are of great relevance to biology, medicine and biotechnology. The MEROPS database (http://merops.sanger.ac.uk) aims to fulfil the need for an integrated source of information about these proteins. The organizational principle of the database is a hierarchical classification in which homologous sets of proteins of interest are grouped into families and the homologous families are grouped in clans. The most important addition to the database has been newly written, concise text annotations for each peptidase family. Other forms of information recently added include highlighting of active site residues (or the replacements that render some homologues inactive) in the sequence displays and BlastP search results, dynamically generated alignments and trees at the peptidase or inhibitor level, and a curated list of human and mouse homologues that have been experimentally characterized as active. A new way to display information at taxonomic levels higher than species has been devised. In the Literature pages, references have been flagged to draw attention to particularly 'hot' topics.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2006:34(Database issue) | 291 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2020-05-30)
14681384
MEROPS: the peptidase database. [PMID: 14681384]
Rawlings ND, Tolle DP, Barrett AJ.

Peptidases (proteolytic enzymes) are of great relevance to biology, medicine and biotechnology. This practical importance creates a need for an integrated source of information about them, and also about their natural inhibitors. The MEROPS database (http://merops.sanger.ac.uk) aims to fill this need. The organizational principle of the database is a hierarchical classification in which homologous sets of the proteins of interest are grouped in families and the homologous families are grouped in clans. Each peptidase, family and clan has a unique identifier. The database has recently been expanded to include the protein inhibitors of peptidases, and these are classified in much the same way as the peptidases. Forms of information recently added include new links to other databases, summary alignments for peptidase clans, displays to show the distribution of peptidases and inhibitors among organisms, substrate cleavage sites and indexes for expressed sequence tag libraries containing peptidases. A new way of making hyperlinks to the database has been devised and a BlastP search of our library of peptidase and inhibitor sequences has been added.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2004:32(Database issue) | 205 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2020-05-30)
14705960
Evolutionary families of peptidase inhibitors. [PMID: 14705960]
Rawlings ND, Tolle DP, Barrett AJ.

The proteins that inhibit peptidases are of great importance in medicine and biotechnology, but there has never been a comprehensive system of classification for them. Some of the terminology currently in use is potentially confusing. In the hope of facilitating the exchange, storage and retrieval of information about this important group of proteins, we now describe a system wherein the inhibitor units of the peptidase inhibitors are assigned to 48 families on the basis of similarities detectable at the level of amino acid sequence. Then, on the basis of three-dimensional structures, 31 of the families are assigned to 26 clans. A simple system of nomenclature is introduced for reference to each clan, family and inhibitor. We briefly discuss the specificities and mechanisms of the interactions of the inhibitors in the various families with their target enzymes. The system of families and clans of inhibitors described has been implemented in the MEROPS peptidase database (http://merops.sanger.ac.uk/), and this will provide a mechanism for updating it as new information becomes available.

Biochem J. 2004:378(Pt 3) | 245 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2020-05-30)
14697270
The S8 serine, C1A cysteine and A1 aspartic protease families in Arabidopsis. [PMID: 14697270]
Beers EP, Jones AM, Dickerman AW.

The Arabidopsis thaliana genome has over 550 protease sequences representing all five catalytic types: serine, cysteine, aspartic acid, metallo and threonine (MEROPS peptidase database, http://merops.sanger.ac.uk/), which probably reflect a wide variety of as yet unidentified functions performed by plant proteases. Recent indications that the 26S proteasome, a T1 family-threonine protease, is a regulator of light and hormone responsive signal transduction highlight the potential of proteases to participate in many aspects of plant growth and development. Recent discoveries that proteases are required for stomatal distribution, embryo development and disease resistance point to wider roles for four additional multigene families that include some of the most frequently studied (yet poorly understood) plant proteases: the subtilisin-like, serine proteases (family S8), the papain-like, cysteine proteases (family C1A), the pepsin-like, aspartic proteases (family A1) and the plant matrixin, metalloproteases (family M10A). In this report, 54 subtilisin-like, 30 papain-like and 59 pepsin-like proteases from Arabidopsis, are compared with S8, C1A and A1 proteases known from other plant species at the functional, phylogenetic and gene structure levels. Examples of structural conservation between S8, C1A and A1 genes from rice, barley, tomato and soybean and those from Arabidopsis are noted, indicating that some common, essential plant protease roles were established before the divergence of monocots and eudicots. Numerous examples of tandem duplications of protease genes and evidence for a variety of restricted expression patterns suggest that a high degree of specialization exists among proteases within each family. We propose that comprehensive analysis of the functions of these genes in Arabidopsis will firmly establish serine, cysteine and aspartic proteases as regulators and effectors of a wide range of plant processes.

Phytochemistry. 2004:65(1) | 108 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2020-05-30)
12887054
Managing peptidases in the genomic era. [PMID: 12887054]
Barrett AJ, Tolle DP, Rawlings ND.

The enzymes that hydrolyse peptide bonds, called peptidases or proteases, are very important to mankind and are also very numerous. The many scientists working on these enzymes are rapidly acquiring new data, and they need good methods to store it and retrieve it. The storage and retrieval require effective systems of classification and nomenclature, and it is the design and implementation of these that we mean by 'managing' peptidases. Ten years ago Rawlings and Barrett proposed the first comprehensive system for the classification of peptidases, which included a set of simple names for the families. In the present article we describe how the system has developed since then. The peptidase classification has now been adopted for use by many other databases, and provides the structure around which the MEROPS protease database (http://merops.sanger.ac.uk) is built.

Biol Chem. 2003:384(6) | 16 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2020-05-30)
11752332
MEROPS: the protease database. [PMID: 11752332]
Rawlings ND, O'Brien E, Barrett AJ.

The MEROPS database (http://www.merops.ac.uk) has been redesigned to accommodate increased amounts of information still in pages of moderate size that load rapidly. The information on each PepCard, FamCard or ClanCard has been divided between several sub-pages that can be reached by use of navigation buttons in a frame at the top of the screen. Several important additions have also been made to the database. Amongst these are CGI searches that allow the user to find a peptidase by name, its MEROPS identifier or its human or mouse chromosome location. The user may also list all published tertiary structures for a peptidase clan or family, and search for peptidase specificity data by entering either a peptidase name, substrate or bond cleaved. The PepCards, FamCards and ClanCards now have literature pages listing about 10 000 key papers in total, mostly with links to MEDLINE. Many PepCards now include a protein sequence alignment and data table for matching human, mouse or rat expressed sequence tags. FamCards and ClanCards contain Structure pages showing diagrammatic representations of known secondary structures of member peptidases or family type examples, respectively. Many novel peptidases have been added to the database after being discovered in complete genomes, libraries of expressed sequence tags or data from high-throughput genomic sequencing, and we describe the methods by which these were found.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2002:30(1) | 110 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2020-05-30)
10592261
MEROPS: the peptidase database. [PMID: 10592261]
Rawlings ND, Barrett AJ.

Important additions have been made to the MEROPS database (http://www.bi.bbsrc.ac.uk/Merops/Merops.htm). These include sequence alignments and cladograms for many of the families of peptidases, and these have proved very helpful in the difficult task of distinguishing the sequences of peptidases that are simply species variants of already known enzymes from those that represent novel enzymes.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2000:28(1) | 58 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2020-05-30)
9847218
MEROPS: the peptidase database. [PMID: 9847218]
Rawlings ND, Barrett AJ.

The MEROPS database (http://www.bi.bbsrc.ac.uk/Merops/Merops.+ ++htm) provides a catalogue and structure-based classification of peptidases (i.e. all proteolytic enzymes). This is a large group of proteins (approximately 2% of all gene products) that is of particular importance in medicine and biotechnology. An index of the peptidases by name or synonym gives access to a set of files termed PepCards each of which provides information on a single peptidase. Each card file contains information on classification and nomenclature, and hypertext links to the relevant entries in online databases for human genetics, protein and nucleic acid sequence data and tertiary structure. Another index provides access to the PepCards by organism name so that the user can retrieve all known peptidases from a particular species. The peptidases are classified into families on the basis of statistically significant similarities between the protein sequences in the part termed the 'peptidase unit' that is most directly responsible for activity. Families that are thought to have common evolutionary origins and are known or expected to have similar tertiary folds are grouped into clans. The MEROPS database provides sets of files called FamCards and ClanCards describing the individual families and clans. Each FamCard document provides links to other databases for sequence motifs and secondary and tertiary structures, and shows the distribution of the family across the major kingdoms of living creatures. Release 3.03 of MEROPS contains 758 peptidases, 153 families and 22 clans. We suggest that the MEROPS database provides a model for a way in which a system of classification for a functional group of proteins can be developed and used as an organizational framework around which to assemble a variety of related information.

Nucleic Acids Res. 1999:27(1) | 90 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2020-05-30)