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n. one of a group of enzymes capable of catalysing the hydrolysis of phosphoric acid esters. An example is glucose-6-phosphatase, which catalyses the hydrolysis of glucose-6-phosphate to glucose and phosphate. Phosphatases are important in the absorption and metabolism of carbohydrates, nucleotides, and phospholipids and are essential in the calcification of bone. Acid phosphatase is present in kidney, semen, serum, and the prostate gland. Alkaline phosphatase occurs in teeth, developing bone, plasma, kidney, and intestine.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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