PROSITE documentation PDOC00657
Aspartyl proteases, omptin family signatures


Escherichia coli protease VII (EC (omptin) (gene ompT) [1] is an outer-membrane associated protease with a specificity for paired basic residues. It seems to be an aspartyl protease [2] inhibited by zinc ions. Omptin is highly similar to the following proteins:

  • Salmonella typhimurium outer membrane protease E (gene pgtE) [3], also specific for paired basic residues.
  • Yersinia pestis coagulase/fibrinolysin (plasminogen activator) (gene pla) [4]. This enzyme is encoded on a plasmid required for the pathogenic potential of the bacteria. It cleaves and activates plasminogen at the foci of infection; this allows plasmin to degrade fibrin barriers thus promoting the invasiveness of the plague bacteria.
  • Escherichia coli outer membrane protease ompP [5].

The mature forms of these enzymes are proteins of about 280 to 300 amino-acid residues. As signature patterns, we selected two well conserved regions in the central part of these proteins.


These proteins belong to family A26 in the classification of peptidases [6,E1].

Last update:

January 2002 / Text revised.


Technical section

PROSITE methods (with tools and information) covered by this documentation:

OMPTIN_1, PS00834; Aspartyl proteases, omptin family signature 1  (PATTERN)

OMPTIN_2, PS00835; Aspartyl proteases, omptin family signature 2  (PATTERN)


1AuthorsSugimura K. Nishihara T.
TitlePurification, characterization, and primary structure of Escherichia coli protease VII with specificity for paired basic residues: identity of protease VII and OmpT.
SourceJ. Bacteriol. 170:5625-5632(1988).
PubMed ID3056908

2AuthorsVandeputte-Rutten L. Kramer R.A. Kroon J. Dekker N. Egmond M.R. Gros P.
SourceEMBO J. 20:5033-5039(2001).

3AuthorsGrodberg J. Dunn J.J.
TitleComparison of Escherichia coli K-12 outer membrane protease OmpT and Salmonella typhimurium E protein.
SourceJ. Bacteriol. 171:2903-2905(1989).
PubMed ID2651422

4AuthorsSodeinde O.A. Goguen J.D.
TitleNucleotide sequence of the plasminogen activator gene of Yersinia pestis: relationship to ompT of Escherichia coli and gene E of Salmonella typhimurium.
SourceInfect. Immun. 57:1517-1523(1989).
PubMed ID2651310

5AuthorsKaufmann A. Stierhof Y.-D. Henning U.
TitleNew outer membrane-associated protease of Escherichia coli K-12.
SourceJ. Bacteriol. 176:359-367(1994).
PubMed ID8288530

6AuthorsRawlings N.D. Barrett A.J.
TitleFamilies of serine peptidases.
SourceMethods Enzymol. 244:19-61(1994).
PubMed ID7845208


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