Proteins and Enzymes

ID #2185

What are the irreversible enzymes involved in aspirin and sarin gas?

The nerve agent Sarin gas is an irreversible inhibitor of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, which catalyzes termination of nerve impulses. If the human body has the time to make more enzymes to continue doing its function, it will, but the gas usually acts too fast for the body to make those new enzymes, and this eventually leads to death. 

Aspirin is another example of an irreversible inhibitor mentioned in class. It inhibits an enzyme involved in inflammation and headaches. It takes about four hours for the body to notice/make more of this enzyme. This is why a person suffering from headaches and pains has to take aspirin every four hours; that's how long it takes the body to remake those enzymes that cause pain.

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