Mammalian carboxylesterase 5: Comparative biochemistry and genomics

Roger S. Holmes, Laura A. Cox, John L. VandeBerg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Carboxylesterase 5 (CES5) (also called cauxin or CES7) is one of at least five mammalian CES gene families encoding enzymes of broad substrate specificity and catalyzing hydrolytic and transesterification reactions. In silico methods were used to predict the amino acid sequences, secondary structures and gene locations for CES5 genes and gene products. Amino acid sequence alignments of mammalian CES5 enzymes enabled identification of key CES sequences previously reported for human CES1, as well as other sequences that are specific to the CES5 gene family, which were consistent with being monomeric in subunit structure and available for secretion into body fluids. Predicted secondary structures for mammalian CES5 demonstrated significant conservation with human CES1 as well as distinctive mammalian CES5-like structures. Mammalian CES5 genes are located in tandem with the CES1 gene(s), are transcribed on the reverse strand and contained 13 exons. CES5 has been previously reported in high concentrations in the urine (cauxin) of adult male cats, and within a protein complex of mammalian male epididymal fluids. Roles for CES5 may include regulating urinary levels of male cat pheromones; catalyzing lipid transfer reactions within mammalian male reproductive fluids; and protecting neural tissue from drugs and xenobiotics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-204
Number of pages10
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part D: Genomics and Proteomics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Amino acid sequence
  • CES5
  • Carboxylesterase
  • Drug detoxification
  • Genomics
  • Mammals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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