Asparaginase is an ENZYME that breaks down the amino acid (see AMINO ACIDS), asparagine. This is of no signiﬁcance to most cells in the body as they can make asparagine from simpler constituents. Certain tumours, however, are unable to do this; therefore, if they cannot receive ready-made supplies of the amino acid, they die. This property is utilised to treat acute lymphoblastic LEUKAEMIA.
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