Structure, function and regulation of carboxylesterases

Chem Biol Interact. 2006 Sep 25;162(3):195-211. doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2006.07.001. Epub 2006 Jul 6.


This review covers current developments in molecular-based studies of the structure and function of carboxylesterases. To allay the confusion of the classic classification of carboxylesterase isozymes, we have proposed a novel nomenclature and classification of mammalian carboxylesterases on the basis of molecular properties. In addition, mechanisms of regulation of gene expression of carboxylesterases by xenobiotics and involvement of carboxylesterase in drug metabolism and enzyme induction are also described.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases / biosynthesis
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases / chemistry*
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases / genetics
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases / metabolism*
  • Enzyme Induction
  • Humans
  • Insecticides / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Organophosphorus Compounds / metabolism
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Terminology as Topic


  • Insecticides
  • Organophosphorus Compounds
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases