EC - Feruloyl esterase

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IntEnz Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name:
feruloyl esterase
Other names:
cinnamoyl ester hydrolase
ferulic acid esterase
hemicellulase accessory
hydroxycinnamoyl esterase
Systematic name:
4-hydroxy-3-methoxycinnamoyl-sugar hydrolase



Catalyses the hydrolysis of the 4-hydroxy-3-methoxycinnamoyl (feruloyl) group from an esterified sugar, which is usually arabinose in 'natural' substrates. p-Nitrophenol acetate and methyl ferulate are poorer substrates. All microbial ferulate esterases are secreted into the culture medium. They are sometimes called hemicellulase accessory enzymes, since they help xylanases and pectinases to break down plant cell wall hemicellulose.

Links to other databases

Enzymes and pathways: NC-IUBMB , BRENDA , ExplorEnz , ENZYME@ExPASy , KEGG , MetaCyc , UniPathway
Structural data: CSA , EC2PDB
Gene Ontology: GO:0030600
CAS Registry Number: 134712-49-5
UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot: (44) [show] [UniProt]


  1. Faulds, C.B. and Williamson, G.
    The purification and characterisation of 4-hydroxy-3-methoxy-cinnamic (ferulic) acid esterase from Streptomyces olivochromogenes (3232).
    J. Gen. Microbiol. 137 : 2339-2345 (1991). [PMID: 1663152]
  2. Faulds, C.B. and Williamson, G.
    Purification and characterisation of a ferulic acid esterase (FAE-III) from Aspergillus niger. Specificity for the phenolic moiety and binding to microcrystalline cellulose.
    Microbiology 140 : 779-787 (1994).
  3. Kroon, P.A., Faulds, C.B. and Williamson, G.
    Purification and characterisation of a novel ferulic acid esterase induced by growth of Aspergillus niger on sugarbeet pulp.
    Biotechnol. Appl. Biochem. 23 : 255-262 (1996). [PMID: 8679110]
  4. deVries, R.P., Michelsen,B., Poulsen, C.H., Kroon, P.A., van den Heuvel, R.H.H., Faulds, C.B., Williamson, G., van den Homberg, J.P.T.W. and Visser, J.
    The faeA genes from Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus tubingensis encode ferulic acid esterases involved in degradation of complex cell wall polysaccharides.
    Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 63 : 4638-4644 (1997). [PMID: 9406381]
  5. Castanares, A., Mccrae, S.I. and Wood, T.M.
    Purification and properties of a feruloyl/p-coumaroyl esterase from the fungus Penicillium pinophilum.
    Enzyme Microbiol. Technol. 14 : 875-884 (1992).

[EC created 2000]