Proteases are destructive molecules that break down proteins by catabolizing peptide bonds, turning proteins into amino acid chains or smaller peptides. Proteases are found endogenously in practically all organisms, and are used in natural biological processes such as blood-clotting, metabolism of proteins, and the regulation of apoptosis.
Invasive proteases can contaminate research samples and slow or halt research progress, rendering time-consuming and expensive work useless. Protease inhibitor cocktails are a unique series of enzyme inhibitors that knock out specific proteases to avoid peptide bond hydrolysis and subsequent protein destruction. They are used widely in primary research and in drug development.