IUBMB Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name: nitrilase

Reaction: A nitrile + 2 H2O = a carboxylate + NH3

Other name(s): acetonitrilase; benzonitrilase

Systematic name: nitrile aminohydrolase

Comments: Acts on a wide range of aromatic nitriles including (indole-3-yl)acetonitrile, and also on some aliphatic nitriles, and on the corresponding acid amides. cf. EC nitrile hydratase.

Links to other databases: BRENDA, EAWAG-BBD, EXPASY, KEGG, Metacyc, PDB, CAS registry number: 9024-90-2


1. Harper, D.B. Microbial metabolism of aromatic nitriles. Enzymology of C-N cleavage by Nocardia sp. (rhodochrous group) N.C.I.B. 11216. Biochem. J. 165 (1977) 309-319. [PMID: 21655]

2. Thimann, K.V. and Mahadevan, S. Nitrilase. I. Occurrence, preparation, and general properties of the enzyme. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 105 (1964) 133-141.

3. Pace, H.C. and Brenner, C. The nitrilase superfamily: classification, structure and function. Genome Biol. 2 (2001) 0001.1-0001.9. [PMID: 11380987]

[EC created 1965, modified 1989]

Return to EC 3.5.5 home page
Return to EC 3.5 home page
Return to EC 3 home page
Return to Enzymes home page
Return to IUBMB Biochemical Nomenclature home page