from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of an ester.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of an ester


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • If the first possibility were to apply, then we must not find the Ac.Ch. at all, since, as has been shown, esterase is found everywhere in the nerves and this, as we shall soon see, destroys the free Ac.Ch. But we do find it in the nerve.

    Otto Loewi - Nobel Lecture

  • It has been proved that when the breaking up of the Ac.Ch. by an esterase, is inhibited by eserine, the Ac.Ch. penetrates with the blood to other organs in sufficient quantities to cause activity.

    Otto Loewi - Nobel Lecture

  • Current treatment involves the use of drugs such as donepezil, tacrine, rivastigmine, galanlamine etc which act as choline esterase inhibitors.

    Remembering Dr. Alois Alzheimer

  • The mechanism for the dying back is not clear but may be related to the inhibition of an enzyme (neurotoxic esterase) within the axon.


  • Changes in genes due to selection pressures from pesticides: The mosquitoes that are resistant to DDT have evolved multiple copies of the esterase genes that enable them to detoxify it; the cotton budworm has altered the target of the poison, and houseflies have altered the proteins that transport the poison.

    National Geographic on malaria - The Panda's Thumb

  • The application of this methodology to biological systems has allowed the generation of biologically active substances, in particular enzyme inhibitors (carbonic anhydrase, acetylcholine esterase).

    Jean-Marie Lehn - Autobiography

  • We have evidence, then, that both the reserve of acetylcholine, and the esterase required for its destruction, are in fact associated with the preganglionic nerve endings, as our hypothesis demands.

    Sir Henry Dale - Nobel Lecture

  • In the same paper I had speculated on the possible occurrence of acetylcholine in the animal body, and on its physiological significance if it should be found there; and had pointed out the extraordinary evanescence of its action, suggesting that an esterase probably contributed to its rapid removal from the blood.

    Sir Henry Dale - Nobel Lecture

  • The eserine has so depressed the action of the esterase at the nerve endings, that the acetylcholine liberated by a single nerve volley lingers there, and reexcites the muscle at each emergence from successive refractory periods, until the concentration falls at last below the stimulation threshold.

    Sir Henry Dale - Nobel Lecture

  • We were then able to establish further that the rapid disappearance of the action of the vagus substance and acetylcholine (Ac. Ch.) through the breaking down of these substances was caused by the action of an esterase in the heart6, which had already been postulated by Dale8.

    Otto Loewi - Nobel Lecture


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