Enzyme-Labeling

Last Updated: July 15, 2018

Definition - What does Enzyme-Labeling mean?

Enzyme-labeling is a method used in bioanalysis to place a chemical marker on a molecule within a substance. Molecular labels allow a molecule in a substance to be detected and traced during chemical analysis or testing. Different types of labels may be used for this type of biological tagging. When an enzyme is chemically bound to another molecule, the process is referred to as enzyme-labeling. Enzyme-labeling may also be referred to as enzyme tagging.

WorkplaceTesting explains Enzyme-Labeling

Enzyme labels have been used since the 1970’s. Enzyme-labeling is used for research, disease screening, medical diagnostics, and forensic testing. Enzyme-labeled molecules may be designed to activate or deactivate to provide a quantitative measure of the molecule to which they are attached. An example a test using enzyme-labeling is the blood test performed to determine the level of damage caused by a heart attack. Enzyme-labeling may also be used to locate tumorous tissue in the body.


The enzyme multiplied immunoassay technique (EMIT) drug test uses enzyme-labeled molecules to measure the level of drugs in the test sample. In this testing process, enzyme-tagged molecules compete with any drug molecules in the test sample to attach to drug-specific antibodies in the solution. The drug molecules of the test sample have the first opportunity to attach to the antibodies. If the enzyme-labeled molecules are unable to attach to an antibody in the solution, this indicates that the sample contained the targeted drug. In other words, by the time the enzyme-labeled molecules arrived, all the drug parking spaces were taken.

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