Functional characterization of human N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2) single nucleotide polymorphisms

Pharmacogenetics. 2001 Apr;11(3):207-15. doi: 10.1097/00008571-200104000-00004.


N-Acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2) catalyses the activation and/or deactivation of a variety of aromatic amine drugs and carcinogens. Polymorphisms in the N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2) gene have been associated with a variety of drug-induced toxicities, as well as cancer in various tissues. Eleven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been identified in the NAT2 coding region, but the specific effects of each of these SNPs on expression of NAT2 protein and N-acetyltransferase enzymatic activity are poorly understood. To investigate the functional consequences of SNPs in the NAT2 coding region, reference NAT2*4 and NAT2 variant alleles possessing one of the 11 SNPs in the NAT2 coding region were cloned and expressed in yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe). Reductions in catalytic activity for the N-acetylation of a sulfonamide drug (sulfamethazine) and an aromatic amine carcinogen (2-aminofluorene) were observed for NAT2 variants possessing G191A (R64Q), T341C (I114T), A434C (E145P), G590A (R197Q), A845C (K282T) or G857A (G286T). Reductions in expression of NAT2 immunoreactive protein were observed for NAT2 variants possessing T341C, A434C or G590A. Reductions in protein stability were noted for NAT2 variants possessing G191A, A845C, G857A or, to some extent, G590A. No significant differences in mRNA expression or transformation efficiency were observed among any of the NAT2 alleles. These results suggest two mechanisms for slow acetylator phenotype(s) and more clearly define the effects of individual SNPs on human NAT2 expression, stability and catalytic activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase / physiology*
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Blotting, Western
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / physiology*
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Schizosaccharomyces / drug effects
  • Schizosaccharomyces / enzymology
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Sulfamethazine / pharmacology


  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Sulfamethazine
  • Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase
  • NAT2 protein, human