IUPAC-IUBMB Joint Commission on Biochemical Nomenclature (JCBN)
and Nomenclature Committee of IUBMB (NC-IUBMB)


The nomenclature committees publish newletters from time to time in various journals of biochemistry as a way of drawing attention to new recommendations, revisions to existing ones, current problems that are being studied, and to make minor recommendations that are too small to demand a full-scale document. In the future the committees hope that many of these functions will be fulfilled by these web pages. The full text of the 1996, 1999, 2004, 2009, 2016, 2017 and 2018Newsletters are available.

Full publication details of all the Newsletters are listed on the Committees bibliographic page. Partial contents of the earlier Newsletters are listed below with links to those entries that have been converted into a web version.

Contents of Newsletter 2020

On the nomenclature of fatty acids

Synthases and synthetases

Contents of Newsletter 2018

Ribonuclease classification

Translocases (EC 7): A new EC Class

How to name atoms in phosphates, polyphosphates, their derivatives and mimics, and transition state analogues for enzyme-catalysed phosphoryl transfer reactions (IUPAC Recommendations 2016)

Classification of cytochrome P-450 enzymes by the Enzyme Commission

Contents of Newsletter 2017

Archaeal Enzymes

Contents of Newsletter 2016

Fatty acid desaturases

Contents of Newsletter 2009

Name of the committee

Enzyme nomenclature

Accepted name
Partial EC numbers
New portal for submission of new enzymes and corrections
Other nomenclature recommendations

Use of gene symbols for gene products
Guidelines for naming proteins
Lipid classification
Metabolic charts
Symbolism for Di-substituted Amino-Acid Residues
IUPAC publications of interest to Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Contents of Newsletter 2004

Recommendations now on the web

Revision of the Enzyme List

Diagrams and metabolic schemes
Approval and incorporation of New Enzymes
New subclasses and sub-subclasses
An alternative to the term "Recommended name"
ATPases and GTPases

Inter-Union Bioinformatics group
Databases that use EC numbers and recommended nomenclature
Biochemical nomenclature

Diphosphate, pyrophosphate
Formimino- an ambiguous term
A or B, Si or Re specificity for NAD+ and NADP+
Oxidized glutathione and other disulfides
Glycated proteins
Membrane transport proteins

Standard reference frame for the description of nucleic acid base-pair geometry

Metabolic charts

Contents of Newsletter 1999

Recent Publications

Enzyme Nomenclature


IUBMB-Nicholson Maps

Web sources for nomenclature recommendations


1. Ribosomal proteins
2. The Gene Family database, GFdb, Mendel-ESTS and Mendel
Other Recommendations

Nomenclature of Translation Factors
Presentation of NMR structures of proteins and nucleic acids

Contents of Newsletter 1996

Vitamin A and retinoids

Absorbance or attenuance?

JCBN and NC-IUBMB on the World Wide Web

Nomenclature of carbohydrates. Recommendations 1996

Glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans

The use of 'biochemical equations'

Development of the Enzyme List

Naming proteins: The Swiss-Prot data bank

Terminology in immunology
Allergen nomenclature
Receptor nomenclature
Current and future activities

Recent publications


Earlier Newsletters

Newsletter 1992, Arch. Biochem. Biophys., 1992, 294, 322-325; Biochem. Internat., 1992, 26, 567-575; Bioch. J., 1992, 282, I-III; Biol. Chem. Hoppe-Seyler, 1992, 373, 1-4; Chem. Int., 1992, 14, 140-141; Eur. J. Biochem., 1992, 204, 1-3.

Partial Contents:

N-glycan/N-linked (Compendium p 89);
meaning of ligand, ligation, ligated (Compendium p 335);
pronunciation of pregn-4-ene;
numbering of steroid-side-chain atoms (Compendium p 335).

Newsletter 1989, Arch. Biochem. Biophys., 1989, 272, 262-266; Biochem. Internat., 1989, 20, 209-214; Bioch. J., 1989, 265, I-IV; Biol. Chem. Hoppe-Seyler, 1989, 370, 1153-1156; Eur. J. Biochem., 1989, 183, 1-4.

Partial Contents:

Anhydroaspartic residues;
names for hydrogen species (Compendium p 30);
structure formed by elimination of water between a [beta]-carboxyl group and an [alpha]-NH group (Compendium p 68);
designation of the two strands of DNA, coding and non-coding (Compendium p 334);
meaning of homology and homologous (Compendium p 334).

Newsletter 1988, Arch. Biochem. Biophys., 1988, 260, 851-854; Biochem. Internat., 1988, 16, following p 192; Bioch. J., 1988, 249, I-III; Biol. Chem. Hoppe-Seyler, 1988, 369, 1-4; Eur. J. Biochem., 1987, 170, 7-9.

Partial Contents:

What is rDNA ? (Compendium p 334);
chitobiose (Compendium p 334).

Newsletter 1986, Arch. Biochem. Biophys., 1986, 244, 393-395; Biochem. Internat., 1986, 12, following p 180; Biochem. J., 1986, 233, I-III; Biol. Chem. Hoppe-Seyler, 1986, 367, 1-4; Biosci. Rep., 1986, 6, 121-125; Chem. Internat., 1986, 8(4), 30-31; Eur. J. Biochem., 1986, 154, 485-487.

Partial Contents:

Selenium in amino acids and peptides (Compendium p 69);
use of the prefix 'seco-' in partially hydrolysed peptides (Compendium p 69);
shortened representation of oligosaccaride chains (Compendium p 173);

Newsletter 1985, Arch. Biochem. Biophys., 1985, 238, 688-692; Biochem. Internat., 1985, 10, following p 128; Biochem. J., 1985, 225, I-IV; Biol. Chem. Hoppe-Seyler, 1985, 366, 3-7; Biosci. Rep., 1985, 5, 185-188; Chem. Internat., 1984(7), 7-9; Eur. J. Biochem., 1985, 146, 237-239; Trends Biochem. Sci., 1984, 9; 1985, 10, various issues.

Partial Contents:

Interferon nomenclature (Compendium p 333);
amide derivatives of amino acids and peptides (Compendium p 68)
hyphens in nucleic acid sequences (Compendium p 114)
representative phospholipids involving diesterified phosphoric acid (Compendium p 265).

Newsletter 1984, Arch. Biochem. Biophys., 1984, 229, 237-245; Biochem. Internat., 1984, 8, following p 202; Biochem. J., 1984, 217, I-IV; Biosci. Rep., 1984, 4, 177-180; Chem. Internat., 1984(3), 24-25; Eur. J. Biochem., 1984, 138, 5-7; Hoppe-Seyler's Z. Physiol. Chem., 1984, 365, I-IV; Trends Biochem. Sci., 1984, 9, various issues.

Partial Contents:

Highlights from items in recommendations on amino acids and peptides (www.qmul.ac.uk/sbcs/iupac/AminoAcid/);
enkephalins (Compendium p 68);
glycation, glycated proteins (Compendium p 333);
synthases and ligases (Compendium p 333);
sialdiase, neuraminidase;
oxygen atom numbering in polynucleotides, nucleic acids (Compendium p 121).

Newsletter 1983, Arch. Biochem. Biophys., 1983, 220, 321-324; Biochem. Internat., 1983, 6, following p 128; Biochem. J., 1983, 209, I-IV; Canad. J. Biochem. Cell Biol., 1983, 61, v-ix; Eur. J. Biochem., 1983, 131, 1-3; Hoppe-Seyler's Z. Physiol. Chem., 1983, 364, I-IV; Trends Biochem. Sci., 1983, 8, various issues.

Partial Contents:

Tetrapyrrole formation;
aspartic and cysteine proteinases;
replacement of -CHOH- by -CO-, dehydro, oxo, keto;
enzymes of teichoic acid synthesis;
enzymes of polyamine synthesis, spermine, spermidine, aminopropyl group;
residues in proteins as enzyme substrates;
the 1-carboxyvinyl group (enolpyruvyl);
oxidation products of cysteine and methionine, cysteic acid, sulfinic acid, sulfenic acid, sulfone, sulfoxide, sulfinoalanine.

Newsletter 1982, Arch. Biochem. Biophys., 1982, 213, 734-736; Biochem. Internat., 1982, 4, following p 116; Eur. J. Biochem., 1982, 122, 437-438; Hoppe-Seyler's Z. Physiol. Chem., 1982, 363, I-IV; Trends Biochem. Sci., 1982, 7, 10.

Newsletter 1981, Arch. Biochem. Biophys., 1981, 206, 458-462; Eur. J. Biochem., 1981, 114, 1-4; Hoppe-Seyler's Z. Physiol. Chem., 1981, 362, I-IV; J. Biol. Chem., 1981, 256, 12-14.

Partial Contents:

Ionic forms of amino-acid residues;
numbering of atoms in histidine;
rate of conversion (Compendium p 106);
parentheses and square brackets in chemical formulae (Compendium p 331);
prealbumin becomes transthyretin (Compendium p 331);
masses of moles (Compendium p 332);
what is a lectin ? (definition) (Compendium p 332).

Newsletter 1980, Eur. J. Biochem., 1980, 104, 321-322; Hoppe-Seyler's Z. Physiol. Chem., 1980, 361, I-IV.

Partial Contents:

Isotopically substituted compounds (substituted, labelled) (see also www.qmul.ac.uk/sbcs/iupac/sectionH/) (Compendium p 29-30);
derivatives of phosphatidic acid (Compendium p 191);
comments on the nomenclature of phosphorus-containing compounds (Compendium p 265);
symbols for kinetics, rate of reaction (see https://iubmb.qmul.ac.uk/kinetics/).

Other useful links:

Biochemical Nomenclature Committees home page
Biochemical Nomenclature home page
Chemical Nomenclature home page