Enzyme Nomenclature - AMA Manual of Style

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Enzyme Nomenclature 

Enzyme Nomenclature

Chapter:
Nomenclature
Author(s):

Harriet S. Meyer

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Enzyme Nomenclature

8

Enzyme nomenclature was formalized in the 1950s.1 It is formulated by the International Union of Biochemistry (IUB) and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), more specifically, the Nomenclature Committee of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (NC-IUBMB) and the IUPAC-IUB Joint Commission on Biochemical Nomenclature.

There are around 3500 listed enzymes. Officially assigned names and numbers for enzymes are available at the Enzyme Nomenclature Database: http://www.chem.qmul.ac.uk/iubmb/enzyme/. Rules for enzyme nomenclature are available at http://www.chem.qmul.ac.uk/iubmb/enzyme/rules.html.

There are 3 types of enzyme name: recommended name (common, working, or trivial name), systematic name, and Enzyme Commission (EC) number. The recommended name is the name by which the enzyme is commonly known. The systematic name incorporates the reaction the enzyme catalyzes. The EC number is a unique identifier assigned to each enzyme.

Because systematic names can be unwieldy and recommended names are well known, recommended names are used in general medical publications. For unambiguous identification, the EC number, the systematic name, or both may be included at first mention.

The parts of the EC number are as follows:

class

subclass

sub-subclass

serial number within sub-subclass

The enzyme classes are as follows:

EC1:

oxidoreductases

EC2:

transferases

EC3:

hydrolases

EC4:

lyases

EC5:

isomerases

EC6:

ligases

Examples are shown below:

EC No.

Recommended Name

Systematic Name

EC 1.11.1.7

peroxidase

donor:hydrogen-peroxide oxidoreductase

EC 2.3.3.10 (was EC 4.1.3.5)

hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA synthase

acetyl-CoA:acetoacetyl-CoA C- acetyltransferase

EC 2.7.1.1

hexokinase

ATP:d-hexose

6-phosphotransferase

EC 3.1.1.7

acetylcholinesterase

acetylcholine

acetylhydrolase

EC 3.5.2.6

β-lactamase

β-lactam hydrolase

EC 5.4.2.2

phosphoglucomutase

α-d-glucose

1,6-phosphomutase

EC 6.5.1.1

DNA ligase (ATP)

poly(deoxyribonucleotide): poly(deoxyribonucleotide) ligase (AMP-forming)

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