Medical Definition of Transaminase biochemistry

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 9/7/2018

Transaminase biochemistry: The transaminases are enzymes that catalyze chemical reactions in the body in which an amino group is transferred from a donor molecule to a recipient molecule. Hence, the name "transferase" can be applied to the transaminases because these enzymes facilitate a molecular transfer, specifically, of an amino group. The donor molecule is usually an amino acid while the recipient is an alpha-2 keto acid. (For example, a transaminase named "aspartate amino transferase" catalyses the reaction: aspartate + ketoglutarate = oxaloacetate + glutamate).

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Reviewed on 9/7/2018