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An oxidase is any enzyme that catalyzes an oxidation-reduction reaction, especially one involving molecular oxygen (O2) as the electron acceptor. In reactions involving donation of a hydrogen atom, oxygen is reduced to water (H2O) or hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Some oxidation reactions, such as those involving monoamine oxidase or xanthine oxidase, typically do not involve free molecular oxygen.

The oxidases are a subclass of the oxidoreductases.


An important example is cytochrome c oxidase, the key enzyme that allows the body to employ oxygen in the generation of energy and the final component of the electron transfer chain. Other examples are:

Oxidase test[edit]

Main article: Oxidase test

In microbiology, the oxidase test is used as a phenotypic characteristic for the identification of bacterial strains; it determines whether a given bacterium produces cytochrome oxidases (and therefore utilizes oxygen with an electron transfer chain).

External links[edit]

  • Catalase & Oxidase tests video