noun[mass noun] Biochemistry
A copper-containing enzyme which catalyses the formation of quinones from phenols and polyphenols (e.g. melanin from tyrosine).
- The copper-containing enzyme tyrosinase catalyzes the rate-limiting step in melanogenesis.
- However, during infection and damage phenols and oxidases, such as peroxidase and tyrosinase, become decompartmentalized and could oxidize phenolic compounds to form antimicrobial quinones.
- It is an incurable congenital condition, due in its total form to absence of the enzyme tyrosinase, which is required for melanin to be synthesized in specialized cells - the melanocytes.
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