Papain-like cysteine proteases.

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The name "cysteine protease" refers to the protease's nucleophilic cysteine residue that forms a covalent bond with the carbonyl group of the scissile peptide bond in substrates. The papain-like cysteine proteases, classified as the "C1 family" are the most predominant cysteine proteases. These proteases are found in viruses, plants, primitive parasites, invertebrates, and vertebrates alike. Mammalian papain-like cysteine proteases are also known as cathepsins. This unit discusses cathepsins, and their subcellular and tissue localization, catalytic mechanism, and substrate specificity. Several tables illustrate the properties of the various cathepsins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)Unit 21.2
JournalCurrent Protocols in Protein Science
VolumeChapter 21
StatePublished - May 2001


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