Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is a cholinergic enzyme primarily found at postsynaptic neuromuscular junctions, especially in muscles and nerves. It immediately breaks down or hydrolyzes acetylcholine (ACh), a naturally occurring neurotransmitter, into acetic acid and choline. The primary role of AChE is to terminate neuronal transmission and signaling between synapses to prevent ACh dispersal and activation of nearby receptors. AChE is inhibited by organophosphates and is an important component of pesticides and nerve agents.
Trang A, Khandhar PB. Physiology, Acetylcholinesterase. 2022 May 8. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan–. PMID: 30969557.