Subtilases: The superfamily of subtilisin-like serine proteases



Subtilases are members of the clan (or superfamily) of subtilisin-like serine proteases. Over 200 subtilases are presently known, more than 170 of which with their complete amino acid sequence. In this update of our previous overview (Siezen RJ, de Vos WM, Leunissen JAM, Dijkstra BW, 1991, Protein Eng 4:719–731), details of more than 100 new subtilases discovered in the past five years are summarized, and amino acid sequences of their catalytic domains are compared in a multiple sequence alignment. Based on sequence homology, a subdivision into six families is proposed. Highly conserved residues of the catalytic domain are identified, as are large or unusual deletions and insertions. Predictions have been updated for Ca2+-binding sites, disulfide bonds, and substrate specificity, based on both sequence alignment and three-dimensional homology modeling.