Structure and functions of the GNAT superfamily of acetyltransferases

Arch Biochem Biophys. 2005 Jan 1;433(1):212-26. doi: 10.1016/


The Gcn5-related N-acetyltransferases are an enormous superfamily of enzymes that are universally distributed in nature and that use acyl-CoAs to acylate their cognate substrates. In this review, we will examine those members of this superfamily that have been both structurally and mechanistically characterized. These include aminoglycoside N-acetyltransferases, serotonin N-acetyltransferase, glucosamine-6-phosphate N-acetyltransferase, the histone acetyltransferases, mycothiol synthase, protein N-myristoyltransferase, and the Fem family of amino acyl transferases.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetyltransferases / chemistry*
  • Acetyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Fungal Proteins / chemistry
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism
  • Kinetics
  • Melatonin / biosynthesis
  • Models, Molecular
  • Models, Structural
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Molecular Structure
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Acetyltransferases
  • Melatonin