Comparative genomic and phylogenetic investigation of the xenobiotic metabolizing arylamine N-acetyltransferase enzyme family

FEBS Lett. 2010 Jul 16;584(14):3158-64. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2010.05.063. Epub 2010 Jun 2.


Arylamine N-acetyltransferases (NATs) are xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes characterized in several bacteria and eukaryotic organisms. We report a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis employing an exhaustive dataset of NAT-homologous sequences recovered through inspection of 2445 genomes. We describe the first NAT homologues in viruses, archaea, protists, many fungi and invertebrates, providing complete annotations in line with the consensus nomenclature. Contrary to the NAT genes of vertebrates, introns are commonly found within the homologous coding regions of lower eukaryotes. The NATs of fungi and higher animals are distinctly monophyletic, but evidence supports a mixed phylogeny of NATs among bacteria, protists and possibly some invertebrates.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetyltransferases / genetics
  • Animals
  • Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase / genetics*
  • Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Bacteria / enzymology
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Eukaryota
  • Genome
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Phylogeny
  • Vertebrates / genetics
  • Vertebrates / metabolism
  • Xenobiotics


  • Xenobiotics
  • Acetyltransferases
  • N-hydroxyarylamine O-acetyltransferase
  • Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase