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 18.104.22.168 (1975), 22.214.171.124 (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.
^During A, Smith MK, Piper JB, Smith JC (November 2001). "beta-Carotene 15,15'-Dioxygenase activity in human tissues and cells: evidence of an iron dependency". The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 12 (11): 640–647. doi:10.1016/s0955-2863(01)00184-x. PMID12031257.
^Kim YS, Oh DK (March 2009). "Substrate specificity of a recombinant chicken beta-carotene 15,15'-monooxygenase that converts beta-carotene into retinal". Biotechnology Letters. 31 (3): 403–8. doi:10.1007/s10529-008-9873-4. PMID18979213.