Let R be a commutative noetherian domain. The q-Brauer algebras over R are shown to be cellular algebras in the sense of Graham and Lehrer. In particular, they are iterated inflations of Hecke algebras of type A. When R is a field of arbitrary characteristic, we determine for which parameters the q-Brauer algebras are quasi-hereditary. Then, using the general theory of cellular algebras we parametrize all irreducible representations of q-Brauer algebras.

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