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An enzyme found in blood and in various other tissues that catalyzes hydrolysis of choline esters, including acetylcholine. Abbreviated chE.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



any of a group of enzymes of the hydrolase class that act as a catalyst in the hydrolysis of choline esters, according to the equation

(CH3)3N + CH2CH2OCOR + H2O → (CH3)3N+ CH2CH2OH + RCOOH

The cholinesterase of the greatest biological importance is that of the nervous system, acetylcholinesterase (ACE), which acts as a catalyst mainly for the hydrolysis of acetylcholine (R = CH3). Cholinesterases that hydrolyze predominately the esters of choline and other carboxylic acids, such as propionic and butyric acid, have retained the trivial name cholinesterase.

ACE catalyzes the hydrolysis of acetylcholine to acetic acid and choline. Acetylcholine, a highly active substance, is secreted in the synapses of the nervous system and takes part in the transmission of nerve impulses from one nerve cell to the next and from nerve cells to the appropriate organs, such as muscles and endocrine glands. It must be rapidly broken down, however, because accumulations of it block the transmission of nerve impulses and cause paralysis—that is, the loss of nerve functions. For this reason, substances that suppress ACE activity are highly toxic; such substances include organophosphate insecticides, physostigmine, and proserine.

An enzyme with properties similar to those of ACE is found in erythrocytes, but its biological function is not yet known. Less specific cholinesterases are found in blood serum and certain organs and tissues of animals. The most active ACE has been discovered in the electric organs of fish of the suborder Batoidea. Individual cholinesterases of high purity have been obtained from various organs and tissues.

All cholinesterases are proteins with molecular weights ranging from 70,000 to 1,000,000; they contain no coenzymes of low molecular weight. A very important role in the catalytic activity of cholinesterases is played by the amino acids serine, histidine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
For PD patients, serum BChE activity inversely correlated with UPDRS scores (r = -0.404, P < 0.001).
The half-life of BChE in animal plasma is approximately 21.6 hours (17-19) and it quickly metabolizes the cocaine molecule (20-23) into the metabolite ecgonine methyl ester.
Amplification of the genes BCHE and SLC2A2 in 40% of squamous cell carcinoma of the lung.
A manera de conclusion, se enfatiza la importancia de promover como herramienta de diagnostico en la practica veterinaria, la medicion de BChE en animales intoxicados, asi como en salud publica promover la denuncia obligatoria y registro centralizado de la intoxicacion por plaguicidas en animales, para aportar a la fiscalizacion de la venta de estos productos y a la educacion a conciencia del riesgo de uso de los mismos en consideracion de la salvaguarda de la salud animal y humana como bien primario.
Despite being 23 times less potent than galanthamine against AChE, upon a molar basis comparison, angustidine (2) was 28 times more potent as an inhibitor of BChE compared to galanthamine.
Other ChE including BChE are crucial for different parts of the immune system.
The primary and most known target for the action of OP and CB compounds is a family of enzymes (Cholinesterases; ChEs) formed by acetylcholinesterase (AChE, EC and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE, EC