An enzyme whose function is to deactivate acetylcholine. Cholinesterase hydrolyzes the toxic acetylcholine into acetic acid and choline. It is found in the brain, heart, nerve cells and red blood cells. Some phosphorus-containing insecticides and nerve gases cause death by acting as cholinesterase inhibitors. Cholinesterase can be reactivated by the administration of atropine sulfate or pralidoxime iodide.
Synonyms and Related Terms
acetylcholinesterase; cholin esterase