An oxidase is an enzyme that catalyzes an oxidation-reduction reaction, especially one involving dioxygen (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:
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).
Oxidase test is used to determine whether a bacterium is an aerobe or anaerobe.
- Eric J. Toone (2006). Advances in Enzymology and Related Areas of Molecular Biology, Protein Evolution (Volume 75 ed.). Wiley-Interscience. ISBN 978-0471205036.
- Nicholas C. Price; Lewis Stevens (1999). Fundamentals of Enzymology: The Cell and Molecular Biology of Catalytic Proteins (Third ed.). USA: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0198502296.