IUBMB Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name: α-amylase

Reaction: Endohydrolysis of (1→4)-α-D-glucosidic linkages in polysaccharides containing three or more (1→4)-α-linked D-glucose units

Other name(s): glycogenase; α-amylase; endoamylase; Taka-amylase A; 1,4-α-D-glucan glucanohydrolase

Systematic name: 4-α-D-glucan glucanohydrolase

Comments: Acts on starch, glycogen and related polysaccharides and oligosaccharides in a random manner; reducing groups are liberated in the α-configuration. The term ‘α’ relates to the initial anomeric configuration of the free sugar group released and not to the configuration of the linkage hydrolysed.

Links to other databases: BRENDA, EXPASY, GTD, KEGG, Metacyc, PDB, CAS registry number: 9000-90-2


1. Fischer, E.H. and Stein, E.A. α-Amylases, in Boyer, P.D., Lardy, H. and Myrbäck, K. (Eds.), The Enzymes, 2nd edn., vol. 4, Academic Press, New York, 1960, pp. 313-343.

2. Manners, D.J. Enzymic synthesis and degradation of starch and glycogen. Adv. Carbohydr. Chem. 17 (1962) 371-430.

3. Schwimmer, S. and Balls, A.K. Isolation and properties of crystalline α-amylase from germinated barley. J. Biol. Chem. 179 (1949) 1063-1074.

[EC created 1961]

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