10.10 Phosphatases and sulfatases

Phosphatases are also esterases, acting on esters of alcohols with phosphoric acid. They are enzymes of comparatively low specificity but fall into groups depending on their activity as phosphomonoesterases, phosphodiesterases and polyphosphatases. The phosphomonoesterases are further distinguished according to their pH optima as alkaline or acid phosphatases. For example, phosphatases are among the extracellular enzymes produced by Agaricus bisporus during growth on compost and must be important, therefore, in the nutrition of such litter degrading fungi. Sulfatases act on sulfate esters in the same way that phosphatases act on phosphate esters. They may be important in recovery of sulfate from the sulfated polysaccharides which are found in soils.

Updated December 17, 2016