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Definition of Acetylcholinesterase

Acetylcholinesterase: An enzyme that breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine at the synaptic cleft (the space between two nerve cells) so the next nerve impulse can be transmitted across the synaptic gap. Pesticides of the organophosphate and carbamate types act to paralyze and kill insects by inhibiting their acetylcholinesterase. Abbreviated AChE.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=23279
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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