* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received January 23, 2011; Revision received June 21, 2011
In this review the main families of endopeptidases belonging to the clan of metzincins of zinc-dependent metalloproteinases in organisms of wide evolutional range from bacteria to mammals are considered. The data on classification, physicochemical properties, substrate specificity, and structural features of this group of enzymes are given. The activation mechanisms of metzincins, the role of these proteins in organisms, and their participation in various physiological processes are discussed.
KEY WORDS: metalloproteinases, metzincins, astacins, adamalysins/reprolysins, matrixins, serralysins