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Biochemistry Pharmacology

Therapeutic Use of Enzymes

  • December 14, 2010
  • 2 min read
Therapeutic Use of Enzymes

Enzymes are the extremely selective biocatalysts synthesized by living cells. Therapeutic enzymes are those enzymes which can be used medically either isolately or adjunctly with other therapies with the purpose of treatment of various diseases safely. Use of these enzymes as drugs for the treatment of medical problems forms the basis for “Therapeutic use of enzymes”. The cost of such enzymes may be quite high but still comparable to those of competing therapeutic agents or treatments.

Enzymes Therapeutic Use Basis Additional Information
Prolactazyme Lactose Intolerance Prolactazyme is a proenzmye that produces lactase in stomach. About 75% of the world’s population is intolerant to lactose in adulthood. It occurs due to lack of lactase in digestive system.
Beta-Lactamase Penicillin Allergy Penicillin is converted to penicillioate Learn more about penicillin allergy here
Aglucerase Gaucher’s Disease type I Enzyme replacement therapy This disease is characterized by the lack of enzyme glucocerebrocidase.
Streptokinase Heart Attacks (Myocardial Infarction) Used as “clot blusters” to dissolve clots in the arteries of heart wall. Plasminogen is converted to  plasmin which is fibrinolytic. Administered i.v. to patients as soon as possible after the onset of a heart attack
Asparaginase Acute Childhood Leukemia Decreased level of serum asparagine and inhibition of aspargine dependent multiplication of tumor cells. Tumor cells cannot synthesize L-asparagine  due to lack of aspartate-ammonia ligase.
Collagenase Skin ulcers Causes collagen hydrolysis Break up and remove dead skin and tissue
DNAse Cystic Fibrosis (CF) DNAse hydrolyses extracellular DNA responsible for Cystic Fibrosis. DNA present in the mucous, which

arises from dead WBCs  and bacterial cells, serves to cross link the mucous, changing it from a fluid gel to a semi-solid.

Lysozyme Antibiotic Therapy Causes Bacterial cell wall hydrolysis
Ribonuclease Antiviral Therapy Causes RNA hydrolysis
Trypsin Inflammation Causes Protein hydrolysis
Uricase Gout Converts Urate to allantoin
Enzyme inhibitors To increase the efficacy of drugs Against resistant bacterisa Example: Beta lactamase inhibitor like clavulanic acid along with amoxicillin.

Further Reading:
Isoenzymes and their Diagnostic Importance

About Author

Sulabh Shrestha

Intern doctor and Medical Blogger Sulabh Shrestha


  • It’s helpful.

  • Thanks

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