IUBMB Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name: glutamate decarboxylase

Reaction: L-glutamate = 4-aminobutanoate + CO2

Glossary: 4-aminobutanoate = γ-aminobutyrate = GABA

Other name(s): L-glutamic acid decarboxylase; L-glutamic decarboxylase; cysteic acid decarboxylase; L-glutamate α-decarboxylase; aspartate 1-decarboxylase; aspartic α-decarboxylase; L-aspartate-α-decarboxylase; γ-glutamate decarboxylase; L-glutamate 1-carboxy-lyase

Systematic name: L-glutamate 1-carboxy-lyase (4-aminobutanoate-forming)

Comments: A pyridoxal-phosphate protein. The brain enzyme also acts on L-cysteate, 3-sulfino-L-alanine and L-aspartate.

Links to other databases: BRENDA, EXPASY, KEGG, Metacyc, PDB, CAS registry number: 9024-58-2


1. Ambe, L. and Sohonie, K. Purification and properties of glutamate decarboxylase from the field bean (Dolichos lablab). Enzymologia 26 (1963) 98-107.

2. Nakano, Y. and Kitaoka, S. L-Aspartate α-decarboxylase in a cell-free system from Escherichia coli. J. Biochem. (Tokyo) 70 (1971) 327. [PMID: 4937550]

3. Roberts, E. and Frankel, S. Further studies of glutamic acid decarboxylase in brain. J. Biol. Chem. 190 (1951) 505-512.

[EC created 1961]

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