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Biological or Clinical Significance:

Aspartate transaminase (AST) or aspartate aminotransferase, also known as AspAT/ASAT/AAT or serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT), is a pyridoxal phosphate (PLP)-dependent transaminase enzyme (EC 2.6.1.1) that was first described by Arthur Karmen and colleagues in 1954. AST catalyzes the reversible transfer of an α-amino group between aspartate and glutamate and, as such, is an important enzyme in amino acid metabolism. Serum AST level, serum ALT (alanine transaminase) level, and their ratio (AST/ALT ratio) are commonly measured clinically as biomarkers for liver health.

AST is similar to alanine transaminase (ALT) in that both enzymes are associated with liver parenchymal cells. The difference is that ALT is found predominantly in the liver, with clinically negligible quantities found in the kidneys, heart, and skeletal muscle, while AST is found in the liver, heart (cardiac muscle), skeletal muscle, kidneys, brain, and red blood cells. As a result, ALT is a more specific indicator of liver inflammation than AST, as AST may be elevated also in diseases affecting other organs, such as myocardial infarction, acute pancreatitis, acute hemolytic anemia, severe burns, acute renal disease, musculoskeletal diseases, and trauma.

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AST

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