- Discuss the use of enzymes in pharmaceutical diagnostic te...
Discuss the use of enzymes in pharmaceutical diagnostic testing
Enzymes are of regular use in medicine and pharmaceutical
engineering. They have several valuable industrial and medical
applications and it is thought that it is through their ability to
catalyse reactions and subsequently lowering the energy required
for a reaction to occur which makes them of particular use in
industry (Smith et al, 1997). Additionally, enzymes are able to be
used in a variety of different ways which include their use in the
manufacture of alcohol, washing detergents, not to mention their
use in the pharmaceutical and diagnostic industry.
The use of enzymes in the pharmaceutical world is becoming
increasingly common throughout medical research and practice.
Biopharmaceutical companies, which specialize in the manufacture of
disease-related biomolecules, are becoming increasingly reliant
upon the use of enzymes in their work. This reliance is
particularly evident within drug and biopharmaceutical companies
which aim to develop therapeutics and diagnostics for the
management of diseases such as cancer and arthritis.
Screening for diabetes is also commonly carried out through the
use of enzymes. Testing of a patient's blood sugar concentration
usually requires the use of two enzymes: glucose oxidase and
hexokinase as these enzymes are known to catalyse the conversion of
glucose (found in the urine of a patient with diabetes, due to an
imbalance of the homeostatic mechanisms found within the body) into
another chemical compound, inducing a colour change in urine
solution. This diagnostic test is perhaps one of the oldest
pharmaceutical methods making use of enzymes, and is still used
today (Bernard, 2001).
The test highlights the importance of an enzymes ability to
identify one particular substrate within a mixed solution in the
diagnosis of a clinical disease phenotype.