defect, enzymemedical dictionary

An abnormality in the protein (enzyme) important in catalyzing a normal biochemical reaction in the body. Disorders result from a deficiency (or functional abnormality) of an enzyme. Archibald Garrod in 1902 was the first to attribute a disease to an enzyme defect: an inborn error of metabolism. Today, newborns are routinely screened for certain enzyme defects such as phenylketonuria (PKU) and galactosaemia, an error in the handling (metabolism) of the sugar galactose.

(12 Dec 1998)

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