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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)