A nomenclature for the mammalian flavin-containing monooxygenase gene family based on amino acid sequence identities

Arch Biochem Biophys. 1994 Jan;308(1):254-7. doi: 10.1006/abbi.1994.1035.


A nomenclature based on comparisons of amino acid sequences is proposed for the members of the mammalian flavin-containing monooxygenase (FMO) gene family. This nomenclature is based on evidence of a single gene family composed of five genes. The percentage identities of the amino acid sequences of the five known forms of mammalian FMO are between 52 and 57% in rabbit and between 50 and 58% across species lines. The identities of all orthologs are greater than 82%. There is no evidence for multiple, highly related forms of the enzyme or for more than one mammalian FMO gene family. In the proposed system, the mammalian flavin-containing monooxygenase gene family is designated as "FMO" and the individual genes are distinguished by an Arabic numeral. The FMOs known as the "liver" and "lung" enzymes become FMO1 and FMO2, and the more recently described forms of the enzymes become FMO3, FMO4, and FMO5. Human FMO gene designations, FMO1 and FMO3, remain unchanged, but the gene designated FMO2 becomes FMO4. Following convention, the genes and cDNA designations will be italicized and the mRNA and protein designations will be nonitalicized. The purpose of the proposed nomenclature is to provide for the unambiguous identification of orthologous forms of mammalian FMOs, regardless of the species or tissue in question. The proposed classification considers only members of the mammalian flavin-containing monooxygenase gene family and has no bearing on the generally accepted definition of a multisubstrate flavin-containing monooxygenase.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence*
  • Animals
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / chemistry
  • Isoenzymes / genetics*
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Lung / enzymology
  • Mammals / genetics*
  • Multigene Family*
  • Oxygenases / chemistry
  • Oxygenases / genetics*
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Swine
  • Terminology as Topic


  • Isoenzymes
  • Oxygenases
  • dimethylaniline monooxygenase (N-oxide forming)