NAR Molecular Biology Database Collection entry number 998
Lespinet O. and Labedan B.
Institut de Genetique et Microbiologie, CNRS UMR 8621, Universite Paris-Sud, Batiment 400, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France

Database Description

More than one third of the enzyme activities (EC numbers) defined by the Nomenclature Committee of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (NC-IUBMB) are found to be not associated with any amino acid sequence in public databases such as the UniProt knowledgebase. Because there is an urgent need to identify the genes encoding these so called orphan enzyme activities, we have designed ORENZA, a database that organizes a large set of pieces of information about defined EC numbers. It is possible to search ORENZA for the different biochemical properties of the defined enzymes, the metabolic pathways in which they participate, the taxonomic data of the organisms whose genomes encode them, and many other features. The ORENZA database has been further designed to allow easy interaction with communities of biochemists and of genomicists. Such a feature is expected to be of a great help to disclose a maximum of the genes encoding orphan enzyme activities in analyzing the available sequenced genomes.

Recent Developments

Complete lists of all EC numbers and of orphan EC numbers are available and are periodically updated. Interactive publishing of suggestions by the community would provide expert evidence for re-annotation of orphan EC numbers in public databases


The French Agence Nationale de Recherche (programme Masse de Donnees) and the CNRS have funded this project


Lespinet O. and Labedan B. (2006). ORENZA, a web resource for ORphan ENZymes Activities. BMC Bioinformatics 7:436

Go to the abstract in BMC Bioinformatics 7:436
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