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FEBS J. 2014 Jan;281(2):583-92. doi: 10.1111/febs.12530. Epub 2013 Oct 17.

Fifty-five years of enzyme classification: advances and difficulties.

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School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.


Since the publication of a list of enzymes classified according to the reactions that they catalysed, by Dixon and Webb in 1958, its content and presentation have undergone a number of significant changes. These have been necessitated by new information, as well as the need to improve clarity. The move from printed versions to the online environment, through the ExplorEnz website, has allowed the process of adding newly reported enzymes to be automated and the information content to be enriched. Search and output facilities have also been enhanced. These and the problems attendant on the use of the Enzyme Commission classification system for some groups of enzymes are the subject of this review.


EC number; ExplorEnz; IUBMB; IUPAC names; enzyme database

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