Pant, H. K. Department of Environmental and Geological Sciences, Lehman College, City University of New York, Bronx, New York.
Last reviewed:June 2020
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- Reaction factors
- Alkaline phosphatase
- Acid phosphatase
- Extracellular phosphatase
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
One of a large group of enzymes, having various chemical structures, that catalyze the hydrolysis of phosphoric acid esters or anhydrides. A phosphatase is a type of hydrolase (that is, an enzyme that uses water to break a chemical bond). Specifically, a phosphatase detaches a phosphate group from its substrate through the hydrolysis of phosphoric acid monoesters into a phosphate ion and a molecule with a free hydroxyl group. Collectively, phosphatases are a complex group, and many of them have highly specific functions. In general, phosphatases promote the degradation of organic phosphorus compounds into inorganic phosphate and an organic moiety (see illustration). In addition, phosphatases readily bind phosphates and transport them to cells. See also: Biochemistry; Cell (biology); Enzyme; Phosphorus
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