What is irreversible enzyme inhibition?

1 Answer
Jun 12, 2015

Irreversible enzyme inhibition is the modification of an enzyme by an inhibitor that makes the chemical reaction irreversible.


An irreversible inhibitor usually binds to the enzyme (E) or to the enzyme substrate complex (ES) to form EI and ESI complexes, which react further to form a covalently modified "dead-end complex" (EI*).


The EI and ESI bonds are so strong that the inhibition is irreversible.

For example, nerve gases like diisopropyl fluorophosphate, DIPF, irreversibly inhibit nerve action by forming covalent bonds to the #"OH"# group of serine on the active site of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase.


This inhibition increases both the level and duration of action of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.