Mastitic milk is associated with increased bovine protease activity, such as that from plasmin and somatic cell enzymes, which cause proteolysis of the caseins and may reduce cheese yield and quality. The aim of this work was to characterize the peptide profile resulting from proteolysis in a model mastitis system and to identify the proteases responsible. One quarter of each of 2 cows (A and B) was infused with lipoteichoic acid from Staphylococcus aureus. The somatic cell counts of the infused quarters reached a peak 6 h after infusion, whereas plasmin activity of those quarters also increased, reaching a peak after 48 and 12 h for cow A and B, respectively. Urea-polyacrylamide gel electrophoretograms of milk samples of cow A and B obtained at different time points after infusion and incubated for up to 7 d showed almost full hydrolysis of beta- and alpha(S1)-casein during incubation of milk samples at peak somatic cell counts, with that of beta-casein being faster than that of alpha(S1)-casein. Two-dimensional gel electrophoretograms of milk 6 h after infusion with the toxin confirmed hydrolysis of beta- and alpha(S1)-casein and the appearance of lower-molecular-weight products. Peptides were subsequently separated by reversed-phase HPLC and handmade nanoscale C(18) columns, and identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry. Twenty different peptides were identified and shown to originate from alpha(S1)- and beta-casein. Plasmin, cathepsin B and D, elastase, and amino- and carboxypeptidases were suggested as possible responsible proteases based on the peptide cleavage sites. The presumptive activity of amino- and carboxypeptidases is surprising and may indicate the activity of cathepsin H, which has not been reported in milk previously.