An oxidase is any enzyme that catalyzes an oxidation/reduction reaction involving molecular oxygen (O2) as the electron acceptor. In these reactions, oxygen is reduced to water (H2O) or hydrogen peroxide (H2O2).
The oxidase 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:
- glucose oxidase
- monoamine oxidase
- cytochrome P450 oxidase
- NADPH oxidase
- Xanthine oxidase
- L-gulonolactone oxidase
- lysyl oxidase
In microbiology, the oxidase test is used as a phenotypic character for the identification of bacterial strains; it determines whether a given bacterium produces cytochrome oxidases (and therefore utilizes oxygen with an electron transfer chain).
Bacteria that can or must utilize oxygen are called (facultative) aerobic bacteria.
- Catalase & Oxidase tests video