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Not to be confused with hydroxylase.

In biochemistry, a hydrolase or hydrolytic enzyme is an enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of a chemical bond. For example, an enzyme that catalyzed the following reaction is a hydrolase:

A–B + H2O → A–OH + B–H


Systematic names of hydrolases are formed as "substrate hydrolase." However, common names are typically in the form "substratease." For example, a nuclease is a hydrolase that cleaves nucleic acids.


Hydrolases are classified as EC 3 in the EC number classification of enzymes. Hydrolases can be further classified into several subclasses, based upon the bonds they act upon:

Clinical considerations[edit]

Hydrolase secreted by Lactobacillus jensenii in the human gut stimulates the liver to secrete bile salts that aids in the digestion of food.[1]

Etymology and pronunciation[edit]

The word hydrolase (/ˈhdrls, -lz/) suffixes the combining form of -ase to the hydrol syllables of hydrolysis.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Prince, Amanda L.; Antony, Kathleen M.; Chu, Derrick M.; Aagaard, Kjersti M. (2014). "The microbiome, parturition, and timing of birth: more questions than answers". Journal of Reproductive Immunology. 104-105: 12–19. doi:10.1016/j.jri.2014.03.006. ISSN 0165-0378. PMC 4157949free to read. PMID 24793619.