AAT Bioquest

What are the differences between protease and peptidase?

Posted May 19, 2023


Protease and peptidase are two types of enzymes with a few significant differences between them. 


  • Protease is a type of hydrolytic enzyme that breaks down proteins by cleaving the peptide bond in protein molecules. They have an affinity for intact proteins. 
  • Proteases can be either endopeptidases or exopeptidases. Endopeptidases hydrolyze internal peptide bonds, resulting in oligopeptides. 
  • Common examples of endopeptidases include trypsin, papain, pepsin, elastase, and chymotrypsin.  


  • Peptidase is a type of protease enzyme that breaks down peptides into amino acids by cleaving the end terminals of the peptide chain. They have an affinity for small peptides. 
  • Peptidases are only exopeptidases. They hydrolyze peptide bonds at the ends of the peptide chain, resulting in a single amino acid or dipeptide. 
  • Common examples of peptidases include carboxypeptidase A and aminopeptidases. 
Additional resources

Papain-like peptidases: structure, function, and evolution


Amplite® Universal Fluorimetric Protease Activity Assay Kit *Green Fluorescence*