This enzyme belongs to the family of oxidoreductases, specifically those acting on paired donors, with O2 as oxidant and incorporation or reduction of oxygen. Other names in common use include β-carotene 15,15'-monooxygenase and β-carotene dioxygenase. Its previous EC numbers include 184.108.40.206 (1975), 220.127.116.11 (2001).
In general, carnivores are poor converters of ionone-containing carotenoids, and pure carnivores such as cats and ferrets lack beta-carotene 15,15'-monooxygenase and cannot convert any carotenoids to retinal (resulting in none of the carotenoids being forms of vitamin A for these species). They must have preformed vitamin A in their diet.
^Kim YS, Park CS, Oh DK (July 2010). "Retinal production from beta-carotene by beta-carotene 15,15'-dioxygenase from an unculturable marine bacterium". Biotechnology Letters. 32 (7): 957–61. doi:10.1007/s10529-010-0239-3. PMID20229064.