Since its discovery more than 20 years ago, a lot has been revealed about the biochemistry and physiological behaviour of carboxypeptidase U (CPU). Recent advances in CPU research include the unravelling of the crystal structure of proCPU and revealing the molecular mechanisms for the marked instability of the active enzyme, CPU. The recent development of two highly sensitive assays has cleared the path toward the direct measurement of CPU in circulation or the determination of CPU generation, rather than the measurement of total proCPU concentration in plasma. Finally, since CPU is known to have a prominent bridging function between coagulation and fibrinolysis, the development of CPU inhibitors as profibrinolytic agents is an attractive new concept and has gained a lot of interest from several research groups and from the pharmaceutical industry. These recent advances in CPU research are reviewed in this literature update.