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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Biochemical properties of blood esmolol esterase.

The blood esterase mediating the hydrolysis of esmolol was characterized in several different species including man. In contrast to most ester-containing drugs, hydrolysis of esmolol was mediated by an esterase in the cytosol of red blood cells (RBC) in man and dogs and not in plasma or RBC membrane. Species differences in the esterase activity existed. Guinea pig and rat blood esterase activities were much greater than those in the dog followed by those in man. In addition, the esterase activity in rat and guinea pig blood was localized in plasma and not in RBC. Purified human serum cholinesterase, human RBC membrane acetylcholinesterase, human hemoglobin, human carbonic anhydrases A and B, and human and dog serum albumin were all inactive against esmolol. Esmolol esterase activity in human and dog blood was inhibited by sodium fluoride, EDTA, and p-hydroxymercuribenzoate, but not by echothiophate, eserine, and acetazolamide. In contrast, echothiophate and sodium fluoride, but not eserine, inhibited the esterase activity in rat and guinea pig plasma. Metabolic interaction studies indicated that acetylcholine, succinylcholine, procaine, and chloroprocaine did not interfere with the metabolism of esmolol by human and dog blood. Based on the results, it appeared that an arylesterase in human and dog RBC cytosol mediated the hydrolysis of esmolol while an aliphatic esterase mediated the hydrolysis of esmolol in guinea pig and rat plasma.[1]


  1. Biochemical properties of blood esmolol esterase. Quon, C.Y., Stampfli, H.F. Drug Metab. Dispos. (1985) [Pubmed]
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