Delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase is an enzyme that in humans is encoded by the ALADgene.
The ALAD enzyme is composed of 8 identical subunits and catalyzes the condensation of 2 molecules of delta-aminolevulinate to form porphobilinogen (a precursor of heme, cytochromes and other hemoproteins). ALAD catalyzes the second step in the porphyrin and heme biosynthetic pathway; zinc is essential for enzymatic activity. ALAD enzymatic activity is inhibited by lead and a defect in the ALAD structural gene can cause increased sensitivity to lead poisoning and acute hepatic porphyria. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been identified.
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