This enzyme belongs to the family of oxidoreductases, to be specific, those acting on the CH-OH group of donor with NAD+ or NADP+ as acceptor. The systematic name of this enzyme class is (S)-malate:NAD+ oxidoreductase (decarboxylating). This enzyme participates in pyruvate metabolism and carbon fixation. NAD-malic enzyme is one of three decarboxylation enzymes used in the inorganic carbon concentrating mechanisms of C4 and CAM plants. The others are NADP-malic enzyme and PEP carboxykinase.