For a long time, clinical diagnosis has been made mainly using chemical methods. Recently, several excellent substrate-specific enzymes have been developed and these enzymes are used as diagnostic catalysts. Using enzymes, it is possible to assay for a specific substance from specimens of serum or urine without the need for isolation of the substance which simplifies the process and shortens the assay time. Furthermore, the use of enzymatic assay methods for diagnosis has been facilitated by the developments in genetic engineering which made it possible to overproduce enzymes inexpensively. Here, we review the diagnostic enzymes, cholesterol oxidase and xylitol oxidase, which were successfully overproduced in our laboratory. In particular, the catalytic activity and pH and thermal stabilities of cholesterol oxidase were improved.
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