Frequently asked questions

  1. What is IntEnz?
  2. What is enzyme nomenclature?
  3. Why do we need enzyme nomenclature as a relational database?
  4. What is an EC number?
  5. Incidentally, what does "EC" mean?
  6. Isn't there an official web site of NC-IUBMB with the same data as IntEnz?
  7. Why do we need IntEnz if there is already ENZYME?
  8. Can I download the whole of the IntEnz data?

Documentation

What is IntEnz?

IntEnz (Integrated relational Enzyme database) is a freely available resource focused on enzyme nomenclature.

What is enzyme nomenclature?

Enzyme nomenclature is a system of naming enzymes (protein catalysts). Enzyme nomenclature is closely linked to, but not identical with, enzyme classification. Both the Classification and Nomenclature of Enzymes are described in our classification rules page.

Why do we need enzyme nomenclature as a relational database?

A relational database provides better interoperability with other bioinformatics resources. All the major biological databases at the EBI, such as EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database, UniProt and MSD, are relational.

What is an EC number?

This is a string of digits and periods, such as EC 6.3.1.2, that is meant both to be an identifier of the enzyme and to provide a clue as to the nature of the catalysed reaction, i.e. it is a part of enzyme classification. Our example EC number consists of class number 6, subclass number 3, sub-subclass number 1 and the serial number 2.

Incidentally, what does "EC" mean?

"EC" in the EC number means neither "Enzyme Classification" nor "European Commission". It stands for "Enzyme Commission" which is a short name for the International Commission on Enzymes, which was established more than 50 years ago with an aim to develop a systematic approach to the nomenclature and classification of enzymes. Since then, the "Enzyme Commission" has been succeeded by a number of various bodies as described in Historical introduction to Enzyme Nomenclature. Currently the Nomenclature Committee of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (NC-IUBMB) is responsible for the nomenclature and classification of enzymes.

Isn't there an official web site of NC-IUBMB with the same data as IntEnz?

There is an official web site for the Enzyme Nomenclature. However it presents the whole of the Enzyme Nomenclature as a set of static HTML pages. IntEnz includes all of these data together with other data, originally from the ENZYME database.

Why do we need IntEnz if there is already ENZYME?

ENZYME started its life separately as a flat text file but now it is an integral part of IntEnz. If you still want the good old ENZYME.dat file, it is made available for you at ftp://ftp.ebi.ac.uk/pub/databases/intenz/enzyme. You also may want to see any IntEnz entry in ENZYME format; for that, click on the tab named "ENZYME view", somewhere close to the top of the page.

Can I download the whole of the IntEnz data?

Sure: go to http://www.ebi.ac.uk/intenz/downloads.jsp.