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Aspartate aminotransferase

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Aspartate aminotransferase

(Science: enzyme) An enzyme present in hepatocytes and myocytes that catalyses the reversible transfer of an amine group from l-glutamic acid to oxaloacetic acid, forming alpha-ketoglutaric acid and l-aspartic acid.

It is raised in conditions that affect the heart and liver such as viral hepatitis and myocardial infarction. Following damage to these cells, the enzyme is released into the blood where the level can be measured.

Synonym: aspartate transaminase, glutamic-aspartic transaminase, glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase, serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase.

Acronym: ast, sgot