What Is Enzymatic Degradation?

Enzymatic degradation is a method of preventing a neurotransmitter from functioning. A specific enzyme changes the neurotransmitter's structure so the receptor does not recognize it, according to the University of Washington. This process is also called deactivation.

Neurotransmitters assist the transfer of information in the brain and nervous system, reports the University of Washington. A neurotransmitter only binds to specific receptors that recognize it. Enzymatic degradation occurs when an enzyme such as acetylcholinesterase changes the structure of its related neurotransmitter, which in this case is the chemical acetylcholine. By breaking down acetylcholine into acetate and choline, the enzyme stops the receptor from recognizing the neurotransmitter, so they do not bind.