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Function of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase enzyme (Essay Sample)

Many human diseases are caused by defects in single enzymes. This can result in lactose intolerance (as described in your textbook), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, or many other diseases. Investigate a human disease caused by an enzyme defect or single enzyme deficiency. Describe (in understandable terms--don't simply copy from what you read) what the normal function of the enzyme is and what happens when it doesn't function properly. What symptoms are present? Be sure to submit your answer and comment on at least two other student's submissions to earn the full five points. NOTE: You may want to Google WebMD and then search Enzyme Defects or Enzyme Deficiency so that you get scientific information. Do NOT use Wikipedia source..
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Function of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase enzyme
The glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) enzyme, which is active in virtually all types of cells, is involved in the normal processing of carbohydrates and it plays a critical role in red blood cells which carries oxygen from the lungs to tissues throughout the body. This enzyme helps to shield red blood cells from damage and premature destruction and the enzyme is responsible for the first step in a chemical pathway that converts glucose a certain type of sugar found in most carbohydrates to ribose-5-phosphate.which is an important component of nucleotides, which are the building blocks of DNA and its chemical cousin RNA. This chemical reaction produces a molecule called NADPH, which plays a role in shielding cells from potentially harmful molecules called reactive oxygen species and the molecules are byproducts of normal cellular functions. Reactions involving NADPH produce compounds that prevent reactive oxygen species from building up to toxic levels within cells and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase is essential in red blood cells, which are particularly susceptible to damage by reactive oxygen species because they lack other NADPH-producing enzymes (Hackney, 2004).
Deficiency Symptoms
Without enough functional glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, red blood cells are unable to protect themselves from the damaging effects of reactive oxygen species. The damaged cells are likely to rupture and break down prematurely process called hemolysis. Aspect such as infections, certain drugs, and ingesting fava beans can increase the levels of reactive oxygen species, causing red blood cells to undergo hemolysis faster than the body can replace them and this loss of red blood cells causes the signs and symptoms of hemolytic anemia, which is a characteristic feature of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (Hackney, 2004). Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficie...
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