Aspartate transaminase is an enzyme that transfers the -NH2 group from aspartate to a keto-acid. Previously known as serum glutamate-oxaloacetate transaminase (SGOT).
Found in liver, heart and skeletal muscle. Damage to any one of these organs can result in raised serum levels. As it is present in non-liver tissue, some hospitals have dropped AST from the panel of liver function tests, preferring ALT instead.