There are approximately 600 proteases encoded by the human genome; countless others are produced by other animals, plants, bacteria, viruses, and yeast.
As proteases are involved in all kind of cell biological processes and play a role in a huge number of diseases, protease inhibitors are commonly used tools in essentially every Life Science laboratory.
What are the fields of applications for protease inhibitors?
Often protease inhibitors are used as simple tools to protect proteins from proteolytical degradation during protein purification or cell/tissue extract preparation. These can be standalone inhibitors or mixtures. Members of this group of nonspecific inhibitors (Leupeptin, Pepstatin A, etc.) are combined to target all protease categories: aspartic, serine, cysteine, threonine, thermolysin-like proteases, metalloproteases, and aminopeptidases.