- An enzyme (actually an enzyme complex) involved in the production of estrogen that acts by catalyzing the conversion of testosterone (an androgen) to estradiol (an estrogen). Aromatase is located in estrogen-producing cells in the adrenal glands, ovaries, placenta, testicles, adipose (fat) tissue, and brain. The growth of some breast cancers is promoted by estrogens. For example, the drug letrozole (brand name: Femara) is an antiestrogen sometimes used to treat such estrogen-dependent tumors. The drug acts by inhibiting the enzyme aromatase which lowers the level of the estrogen, estradiol.
* * *aro·ma·tase ə-'rō-mə-.tās, -.tāz n an enzyme or complex of enzymes that promotes the conversion of an androgen (as testosterone) into estrogens (as estradiol)
* * *aro·ma·tase (ə-roґmə-tās) an enzyme activity occurring in the endoplasmic reticulum and catalyzing the conversion of testosterone to the aromatic compound estradiol, proceeding via three successive hydroxylations, loss of a carbon atom, and rearrangement.
Medical dictionary. 2011.