IUBMB Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name: DNA oxidative demethylase

Reaction: DNA-base-CH3 + 2-oxoglutarate + O2 = DNA-base + formaldehyde + succinate + CO2

Other name(s): alkylated DNA repair protein; α-ketoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase ABH1; alkB (gene name)

Systematic name: Methyl DNA-base, 2-oxoglutarate:oxygen oxidoreductase (formaldehyde-forming)

Comments: Contains iron; activity is slightly stimulated by ascorbate. Catalyses oxidative demethylation of the DNA base lesions N1-methyladenine, N3-methylcytosine, N1-methylguanine, and N3-methylthymine. It works better on single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) and is capable of repairing damaged bases in RNA.

Links to other databases: BRENDA, EXPASY, KEGG, Metacyc, PDB, CAS registry number:


1. Falnes, P.O., Johansen, R.F. and Seeberg, E. AlkB-mediated oxidative demethylation reverses DNA damage in Escherichia coli. Nature 419 (2002) 178-182. [PMID: 12226668]

2. Yi, C., Yang, C.G. and He, C. A non-heme iron-mediated chemical demethylation in DNA and RNA. Acc. Chem. Res. 42 (2009) 519-529. [PMID: 19852088]

3. Yi, C., Jia, G., Hou, G., Dai, Q., Zhang, W., Zheng, G., Jian, X., Yang, C.G., Cui, Q. and He, C. Iron-catalysed oxidation intermediates captured in a DNA repair dioxygenase. Nature 468 (2010) 330-333. [PMID: 21068844]

[EC created 2011]

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