I have searched on Google for a hypernym/umbrella term that encompasses all enzymes whose function is to cut other molecules, but I have yet to find such a term. The term I am looking for would encompass enzymes groups such as proteases, nucleases, and lipases.

Is there such a term in molecular biology?

  • $\begingroup$ Aren't all enzymes named with the suffix "-ase"? $\endgroup$ – Hawkeye Aug 9 '17 at 17:15
  • $\begingroup$ Oh yeah d'oh. Don't know why I forgot that. Ignore me! $\endgroup$ – Joe Healey Aug 9 '17 at 17:16

Hydrolases can "cut" other molecules using hydrolysis (see proteases), and Lyases can catalyze "cutting" with other reactions (see aldolases). These are umbrella terms for families of enzymes classified by function.

I think this is a fair open-access review of enzyme classification.

  • $\begingroup$ Please provide links to the EC classification or the like to support your assertion. You may be right, but how is anyone to know? $\endgroup$ – David Aug 9 '17 at 19:40

The term you want is "scission enzyme". Scission is from Latin scissio, the same root as for scissors. This is a broad umbrella term which does not speak to mechanism of cutting.

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    $\begingroup$ Never heard this used. Please support your suggestion by citations and links, otherwise they are likely to be flagged as low quality. $\endgroup$ – David Aug 9 '17 at 19:37
  • $\begingroup$ Also never heard this. Strongly doubt it is a common term. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Aug 9 '17 at 21:29
  • $\begingroup$ I appreciate you 2 asking for clarification rather than just down voting. Here is a google search with 632 uses of the term. It is such a broad category that the term is not that useful, which may be why you two are unfamiliar with it. $\endgroup$ – Willk Aug 9 '17 at 23:31

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