In biochemistry, a hydrolase is an enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of a chemical bond. For example, an enzyme that catalyzed the following reaction is a hydrolase:

:A–B + H2O → A–OH + B–H


Systematic names of hydrolases are formed as "substrate hydrolase." However, common names are typically in the form "substrate"ase." For example, a nuclease is a hydrolase that cleaves nucleic acids.


Hydrolases are classified as EC 3 in the EC number classification of enzymes. Hydrolases can be further classified into several subclasses, based upon the bonds they act upon:
*: ester bonds (esterases: nucleases, phosphodiesterases, lipase, phosphatase)
*: sugars (glycosylases/DNA glycosylases, glycoside hydrolase)
*: ether bonds
*: peptide bonds (Proteases/peptidases)
*: carbon-nitrogen bonds, other than peptide bonds
* EC 3.6: acid anhydrides (acid anhydride hydrolases, including helicases and GTPase)
* EC 3.7: carbon-carbon bonds
* EC 3.8: halide bonds
* EC 3.9: phosphorus-nitrogen bonds
* EC 3.10: sulfur-nitrogen bonds
* EC 3.11: carbon-phosphorus bonds
* EC 3.12: sulfur-sulfur bonds
* EC 3.13: carbon-sulfur bonds


* [http://www.chem.qmul.ac.uk/iubmb/enzyme/EC3/intro.html EC 3 Introduction] from the Department of Chemistry at Queen Mary, University of London, only covers 3.1-3.4
* [http://www.chem.qmul.ac.uk/iubmb/enzyme/EC3/ More detailed taxonomy]

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