acetylcholinesterase ,systematic name: acetylcholine acetylhydrolase; other names: true cholinesterase; cholinesterase I; an esterase enzyme that catalyses the hydrolysis of acetylcholine to choline and acetate; it also acts on a variety of acetic esters and catalyses transacetylations. It is found in or attached to cellular or basement membranes of presynaptic cholinergic neurons and postsynaptic cholinoceptive cells. A soluble form occurs in cerebrospinal fluid and within cholinergic neurons. It is inhibited by a number of drugs, e.g. physostigmine, and by several organophosphates. The 3-D structure is known for fragments obtained from the electric ray (fish).
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