A database for 3D structures of pepsin-like enzymes has been created on the basis of a novel approach using the Internal Coordinate System (ICS). It allows rapid comparison of multiple structures of pepsin-like enzymes without the need for preliminary calculations. Atomic displacements measured by this approach are very close to those estimated by the superposition procedures widely employed in comparing three-dimensional structures of proteins. Any new structure of pepsin-like enzyme converted to the ICS automatically becomes superimposed with all structures in a database. The ICS approach can be used for any class of enzymes and is especially efficient for families containing a large number of homologous structures. Proteins 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.