Mammalian carboxylesterase (CES or Ces) genes encode enzymes that participate in xenobiotic, drug, and lipid metabolism in the body and are members of at least five gene families. Tandem duplications have added more genes for some families, particularly for mouse and rat genomes, which has caused confusion in naming rodent Ces genes. This article describes a new nomenclature system for human, mouse, and rat carboxylesterase genes that identifies homolog gene families and allocates a unique name for each gene. The guidelines of human, mouse, and rat gene nomenclature committees were followed and "CES" (human) and "Ces" (mouse and rat) root symbols were used followed by the family number (e.g., human CES1). Where multiple genes were identified for a family or where a clash occurred with an existing gene name, a letter was added (e.g., human CES4A; mouse and rat Ces1a) that reflected gene relatedness among rodent species (e.g., mouse and rat Ces1a). Pseudogenes were named by adding "P" and a number to the human gene name (e.g., human CES1P1) or by using a new letter followed by ps for mouse and rat Ces pseudogenes (e.g., Ces2d-ps). Gene transcript isoforms were named by adding the GenBank accession ID to the gene symbol (e.g., human CES1-AB119995 or mouse Ces1e-BC019208). This nomenclature improves our understanding of human, mouse, and rat CES/Ces gene families and facilitates research into the structure, function, and evolution of these gene families. It also serves as a model for naming CES genes from other mammalian species.
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