IUBMB Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name: carnitine–CoA ligase

Reaction: ATP + L-carnitine + CoA = AMP + diphosphate + L-carnitinyl-CoA

Glossary: carnitine = 3-hydroxy-4-(trimethylammonio)butanoate
crotonobetaine = (E)-4-(trimethylammonio)but-2-enoate
γ-butyrobetaine = 4-(trimethylammonio)butanoate

Other name(s): caiC (gene name)

Systematic name: L-carnitine:CoA ligase (AMP-forming)

Comments: The enzyme, originally characterized from the bacterium Escherichia coli, can catalyse the transfer of CoA to L-carnitine, crotonobetaine and γ-butyrobetaine. In vitro the enzyme also exhibits the activity of EC, L-carnitine CoA-transferase.

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


1. Eichler, K., Bourgis, F., Buchet, A., Kleber, H.P. and Mandrand-Berthelot, M.A. Molecular characterization of the cai operon necessary for carnitine metabolism in Escherichia coli. Mol. Microbiol. 13 (1994) 775-786. [PMID: 7815937]

2. Bernal, V., Arense, P., Blatz, V., Mandrand-Berthelot, M.A., Canovas, M. and Iborra, J.L. Role of betaine:CoA ligase (CaiC) in the activation of betaines and the transfer of coenzyme A in Escherichia coli. J. Appl. Microbiol. 105 (2008) 42-50. [PMID: 18266698]

[EC created 2017]

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