The investigation of the structure and function of enzymes has been the subject of biochemical research for over 100 years. Driven by continuous development of new methods and techniques, this research enables an increasingly detailed exploration of the molecular mechanisms of enzyme activity.

The spatial structure of an enzyme can be predicted e.g., from the sequence and properties of its building blocks, the amino acids. Based on this information the structure then can be modelled and confirmed (or disproved) by imaging techniques. The functional characterization requires complex procedures to monitor the enzyme activity and to obtain specific metrics such as reaction rates, substrate specificities, enzyme efficiencies etc.

Enzyme Activity Data

Enzyme activity data can be found in large quantities in the scientific literature and databases. However, samples show quickly that the data were measured under different experimental conditions, e.g., temperatures, pH, ionic strength, enzyme and substrate concentrations, activators and inhibitors which makes any comparisons difficult. Without a complete description of the experiment including materials and methods, the comparison of enzyme activity data is not possible. 

The difficulties become even more acute for those wishing to use published data to model the behavior of metabolic systems, cellular behavior and the interaction of cells within tissues and organs. This is in particular the case for systems biology that requires reliable data to be able to create a high quality of simulation data.



At the first Beilstein ESCEC Symposium 2003 (ESCEC stands for Experimental Standard Conditions of Enzyme Characterizations) there was general agreement amongst members of the scientific community that the development and implementation of experimental enzyme data standards are essential.


Consequently, after this conference with the support of the Beilstein-Institut a group of scientists established a working group which was constituted in Frankfurt as the STRENDA Commission in 2004. Since then the project is funded and coordinated by the Beilstein-Institut.