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How to Learn and Understand the Physiology Behind the Inhibition of the Acetyl Choline Esterase Enzyme
Acetylcholinesterase is one type of various enzymes in the body of humans that has specific and unique function that is related to neutralizing the effect of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine by removing an acetyl group from its molecular structure.This enzyme is a convenient target of chemical warfare agents due to its important role in removing the immediate effect of the acetylcholine molecule at the neuromuscular junction between neurons and muscle cells.
The targeting of this enzyme by nerve gases is mediated by the process of enzymatic inhibition of this particular enzyme by organophosphorus related compounds that have characteristic chemical properties of being able to inhibit the catalytic function of this enzyme through a noncompetitive mechanism of inhibition that leads to irreversible binding of the nerve agent to the active site of this enzyme.
By doing so the normal function of the enzyme is interrupted.Therefore, the neurotransmitter acetylcholine molecules accumulate at the neuromuscular junction between neurons and the muscle cells which continue to function un-endlessly by inducing the process of muscles contraction in the autonomic and involuntary muscles of the body.
The immediate clinical effect of this process of enzyme inhibition is the continuous contraction of the various muscles in the body.The most dangerous effect of this muscles contraction is manifested in the muscles of the lungs and the muscle of the diaphragm. The continuous never-ending contraction of these muscles can hinder the normal process of breathing. This leads in turn to suffocation of the individual and subsequently to his unavoidable death.
The neurotransmitter acetylcholine is an amine derivative that has a quaternary ammonium group as part of its molecular structure.This ammonium group bears a positive charge that imparts hydrophilic properties to this compound. The immediate consequence of this typical chemical structure of this compound is its unique physiological effect of signaling the contraction of the muscle cells.
By virtue of its polar and hydrophilic structure this compound is unable to penetrate the phospholipid bilayer of the cellular membrane.Its main signaling function is by binding to receptors on the outer cellular membrane of muscle cells.
This neurotransmitter is secreted by neurons into the neuromuscular junction based on a stimulus that the neurons receive.The secretion of this neurotransmitter is reported to occur based on the accumulation of calcium ions in the inner side of the neurons. It is postulated that calcium ions have a role in inducing the secretion of this neurotransmitter into the neuromuscular junction.
This molecule functions physiologically at the neuromuscular junction by inducing the opening of sodium ion channels in muscle cells.This opening of ion channels can induce an action potential in these muscle cells which can lead eventually through a sequence of events to the contraction of muscles primarily of involuntary type of muscles such as muscles of the gastrointestinal tract and the muscles of the lungs and the diaphragm.
The most prominent clinical effect of this neurotransmitter is on the muscles of the digestive system.Contraction of the muscles of the intestine by the effect of this neurotransmitter leads to the so called peristaltic motion of the muscles of the intestinal wall. This in turn causes the propulsion and movement of food content in the stomach along the gastrointestinal tract. This neurotransmitter has many other functions that are related to its effects on muscle contraction in the body.
Acetylcholine is the main neurotransmitter of the autonomic nervous system.Also secreted by this branch of the nervous system are the neurotransmitters epinephrine and norepinephrine. These two neurotransmitters have completely different roles in the autonomic nervous system that are unrelated to the function of the acetylcholine neurotransmitter.
Enzymes inhibition is one main strategy that is used in chemical warfare as well as for other clinical processes such as for treating medical disorders.In both cases the principle of action is very similar. It involves the inhibition of the particular enzyme by specific molecules that have potential of binding either reversibly or irreversibly to one amino acid that is located in the active site of the particular enzyme that is the target of inhibition by the drug.
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Date: 05.12.2018, 10:33 / Views: 43534