EC number


EC number

: "This article is about the Enzyme Commission codes. For the European Commission system for coding chemicals, see EC-No."

The Enzyme Commission number (EC number) is a numerical classification scheme for enzymes, based on the chemical reactions they catalyze.As a system of enzyme nomenclature, every EC number is associated with a recommended name for the respective enzyme.

Strictly speaking, EC numbers do not specify enzymes, but enzyme-catalyzed reactions. If different enzymes (for instance from different organisms) catalyze the same reaction, then they receive the same EC number. By contrast, UniProt identifiers uniquely specify a protein by its amino acid sequence. [cite web
publisher = ExPASy
title = ENZYME (Enzyme nomenclature database)
url = http://www.expasy.org/enzyme/
accessdate = 2006-03-14
]

Format of number

Every enzyme code consists of the letters "EC" followed by four numbers separated by periods. Those numbers represent a progressively finer classification of the enzyme.

For example, the tripeptide aminopeptidases have the code "EC 3.4.11.4", whose components indicate the following groups of enzymes:

* "EC 3" enzymes are hydrolases (enzymes that use water to break up some other molecule)
* "EC 3.4" are hydrolases that act on peptide bonds
* "EC 3.4.11" are those hydrolases that cleave off the amino-terminal amino acid from a polypeptide
* "EC 3.4.11.4" are those that cleave off the amino-terminal end from a tripeptide

Top level codes

History

The enzyme nomenclature scheme was developed starting in 1955, when the International Congress of Biochemistry in Brussels set up an Enzyme Commission.

The first version was published in 1961.

The current sixth edition, published by the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 1992, contains 3196 different enzymes.

References

ee also

* TC number (classification of membrane transport proteins)
* List of enzymes


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