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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2001 Apr;2(4):294-302.

Acetylcholinesterase--new roles for an old actor.

Erratum in

  • Nat Rev Neurosci 2001 Sep;2(9):670.


The discovery of the first neurotransmitter--acetylcholine--was soon followed by the discovery of its hydrolysing enzyme, acetylcholinesterase. The role of acetylcholinesterase in terminating acetylcholine-mediated neurotransmission made it the focus of intense research for much of the past century. But the complexity of acetylcholinesterase gene regulation and recent evidence for some of the long-suspected 'non-classical' actions of this enzyme have more recently driven a profound revolution in acetylcholinesterase research. Although our understanding of the additional roles of acetylcholinesterase is incomplete, the time is ripe to summarize the evidence on a remarkable diversity of acetylcholinesterase functions.

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