UGT Nomenclature Committee

The UDP-glycosyltransferase (UGT) Nomenclature Committee keeps UGT gene names unilateral through assigning a unique name for novel UGT sequences submitted for naming by researchers working in the field.

The UDP-glycosyltransferases are enzymes responsible for the addition of sugars to fat-soluble chemicals, including endogenous substrates such as hormones, and exogenous substances such as drugs, intoxicants, and other foreign chemicals. This is an important biochemical process in many different organisms that (usually) decreases the chemical’s biological effects, increases the chemical’s water solubility, and also aids in the chemical’s excretion. Although most organisms primarily conjugate using UDP-glucose as the active nucleotide-sugar cosubstrate in a process called glucosidation, mammals primarily glucuronidate chemicals using UDP-glucuronic acid as the nucleotide-sugar cosubstrate. This process is essential in preventing waste products of metabolism and fat-soluble chemicals from the environment reaching toxic levels in the body. Note that the enzymes that use UDP-glucuronic acid are called UDP-glucuronosyltransferases and that these enzymes are also commonly abbreviated to “UGTs” in the literature.  The UDP-glucuronosyltransferases are a subset of a superfamily of genetically-related UDP-glycosyltransferase enzymes found in animals, plants, and many microorganisms. This committee was originally purposed with naming the UDP-glucuronosyltransferases, but now names all UGTs that are demonstrated to contain the signature glycosyltransferase protein domain.

All UGT Gene Names Currently Approved by the Committee

All UGT genes that have been named by the committee (up until the indicated date) and associated publicly available information are available for download. The latest publicly available UGT names and sequences are given here as an Excel file for download.

UGT Naming Guidelines

The most current UGT gene naming guidelines are given here.

Submitting UGT Sequences for Naming by the Committee

Researchers are strongly encouraged to submit deduced amino acid sequences of novel UGTs for naming by the nomenclature committee prior to publication. Instructions on submitting your sequences for naming are given here.

Novel sequences should be deposited in Genbank (or other database) either prior to, or soon after UGT name assignment.

We will also assign official names to UGT genes that are already publicly available to assist in comparative analysis of novel genes.  It is the submitter’s responsibility to inform Genbank of the newly assigned UGT name for either novel or publicly available sequences.

Human UGT Alleles

A UGT nomenclature subcommittee also reviews and approves names for the reference and variant human UGT alleles that are submitted by researchers using the “star” allele system. This information is maintained on the human UGT allele website at Laval University in Quebec, Canada. Please contact Dr. Guillemette for more information. At present we do not name UGT variant alleles from other species.

Contact information

Instructions on submitting your sequences for naming are given here.

For other queries please email Dr. Michael Court.

UGT Nomenclature Committee