IUBMB Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name: β-amylase

Reaction: Hydrolysis of (1→4)-α-D-glucosidic linkages in polysaccharides so as to remove successive maltose units from the non-reducing ends of the chains

Other name(s): saccharogen amylase; glycogenase; β-amylase; 1,4-α-D-glucan maltohydrolase

Systematic name: 4-α-D-glucan maltohydrolase

Comments: Acts on starch, glycogen and related polysaccharides and oligosaccharides producing β-maltose by an inversion. The term ‘β’ 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: 9000-91-3


1. Balls, A.K., Walden, M.K. and Thompson, R.R. A crystalline β-amylase from sweet potatoes. J. Biol. Chem. 173 (1948) 9-19.

2. French, D. β-Amylases, in Boyer, P.D., Lardy, H. and Myrbäck, K. (Eds.), The Enzymes, 2nd edn., vol. 4, Academic Press, New York, 1960, pp. 345-368.

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

[EC created 1961]

Return to EC 3.2.1 home page
Return to EC 3.2 home page
Return to EC 3 home page
Return to Enzymes home page
Return to IUBMB Biochemical Nomenclature home page