Also known as: Colaspase
Brand names: ERWINASE ERWINAZE KIDROLASE LEUNASE SPECTRILA
Asparaginase hydrolyses asparagine to aspartic acid and ammonia. In contrast to normal cells, lymphoblastic tumour cells have a very limited capacity for synthesising asparagine because of a significantly reduced expression of asparagine synthetase. Therefore, they require asparagine which diffuses from the extracellular environment. As a result of asparaginase-induced asparagine depletion in serum, protein synthesis in lymphoblastic tumour cells is disturbed while sparing most normal cells.