In biochemistry, an oxidoreductase is an enzyme that catalyzes the transfer of electrons from one molecule, the reductant, also called the electron donor, to another, the oxidant, also called the electron acceptor. This group of enzymes usually utilizes NADP or NAD+ as cofactors.[1][2]


For example, an enzyme that catalyzed this reaction would be an oxidoreductase:

A + B A + B

In this example, A is the reductant (electron donor) and B is the oxidant (electron acceptor).

In biochemical reactions, the redox reactions are sometimes more difficult to see, such as this reaction from glycolysis:

Pi + glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate + NAD+ NADH + H+ + 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate

In this reaction, NAD+ is the oxidant (electron acceptor), and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate is the reductant (electron donor).


Proper names of oxidoreductases are formed as "donor:acceptor oxidoreductase"; however, other names are much more common. The common name is "donor dehydrogenase" when possible, such as glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase for the second reaction above. Common names are also sometimes formed as "acceptor reductase", such as NAD+ reductase. "Donor oxidase" is a special case where O2 is the acceptor.


Oxidoreductases are classified as EC 1 in the EC number classification of enzymes. Oxidoreductases can be further classified into 22 subclasses:

See also


  1. Eric J. Toone (2006). Advances in Enzymology and Related Areas of Molecular Biology, Protein Evolution (Volume 75 ed.). Wiley-Interscience. ISBN 0471205036.
  2. Nicholas C. Price; Lewis Stevens (1999). Fundamentals of Enzymology: The Cell and Molecular Biology of Catalytic Proteins (Third ed.). USA: Oxford University Press. ISBN 019850229X.
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