- Protease inhibitor (biology)
biologyand biochemistry, protease inhibitors are molecules that inhibit the function of peptidases (old name: "protease", hence the term "protease inhibitor"). Many naturally occurring protease inhibitors are proteins.
medicine, "protease inhibitor" is often used interchangeably with alpha 1-antitrypsin(A1AT, which is abbreviated P"i" for this reason). [ [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/dispomim.cgi?id=107400 OMIM - PROTEASE INHIBITOR 1; PI ] ] A1AT is indeed the protease inhibitor most often involved in disease, namely in alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency.
Protease inhibitors may be classified either by the type of protease the inhibit, or by their mechanism of action.
Classes of "proteases" are:
Cysteine protease inhibitors
Serine protease inhibitors ("serpins")
** Trypsin inhibitors
Threonine protease inhibitors
Aspartic protease inhibitors
Classes of "inhibitor mechanisms of action" are:
Transition state inhibitor
Protein protease inhibitor(see serpins)
Calpain inhibitorI and II
* [http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/Area_of_Interest/Biochemicals/Enzyme_Explorer/Key_Resources/Protease_Inhibitors/Broad_Spectrum_Inhib_.html Sigma-Aldrich protease inhibitor overview]
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