Butyrylcholinesterase, cholinergic neurotransmission and the pathology of Alzheimer's disease

Changiz Geula*, Sultan Darvesh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Butyrylcholinesterase is a serine hydrolase biochemically related to the cholinergic enzyme acetylcholinesterase. It is capable of hydrolyzing esters of choline. Butyrylcholinesterase has unique enzymatic properties and is widely distributed in the nervous system, raising the possibility of its involvement in neural function. In particular, recent evidence indicates that along with acetylcholinesterase, butyrylcholinesterase catalyzes the hydrolysis of acetylcholine, and thus serves as a co-regulator of cholinergic transmission. Accumulating evidence also indicates that butyrylcholinesterase is likely to be involved in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Therefore, inhibition of butyrylcholinesterase will not only lead to enhanced cholinergic transmission but also has the potential to interfere with the disease process in Alzheimer's disease and other dementing disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)711-721
Number of pages11
JournalDrugs of Today
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology


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