Functional effects of genetic polymorphisms in the N-acetyltransferase 1 coding and 3' untranslated regions

Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2011 Feb;91(2):77-84. doi: 10.1002/bdra.20763. Epub 2011 Feb 2.


Background: The functional effects of N-acetyltransferase 1 (NAT1) polymorphisms and haplotypes are poorly understood, compromising the validity of associations reported with diseases, including birth defects and numerous cancers.

Methods: We investigated the effects of genetic polymorphisms within the NAT1 coding region and the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) and their associated haplotypes on N- and O-acetyltransferase catalytic activities, and NAT1 mRNA and protein levels following recombinant expression in COS-1 cells.

Results: 1088T>A (rs1057126; 3'-UTR) and 1095C>A (rs15561; 3'-UTR) each slightly reduced NAT1 catalytic activity and NAT1 mRNA and protein levels. A 9-bp (TAATAATAA) deletion between nucleotides 1065 and 1090 (3'-UTR) reduced NAT1 catalytic activity and NAT1 mRNA and protein levels. In contrast, a 445G>A (rs4987076; V149I), 459G>A (rs4986990; T153T), and 640T>G (rs4986783; S214A) coding region haplotype present in NAT1*11 increased NAT1 catalytic activity and NAT1 protein, but not NAT1 mRNA levels. A combination of the 9-bp (TAATAATAA) deletion and the 445G>A, 459G>A, and 640T>G coding region haplotypes, both present in NAT1*11, appeared to neutralize the opposing effects on NAT1 protein and catalytic activity, resulting in levels of NAT1 protein and catalytic activity that did not differ significantly from the NAT1*4 reference.

Conclusions: Because 1095C>A (3'-UTR) is the sole polymorphism present in NAT1*3, our data suggest that NAT1*3 is not functionally equivalent to the NAT1*4 reference. Furthermore, our findings provide biologic support for reported associations of 1088T>A and 1095C>A polymorphisms with birth defects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3' Untranslated Regions*
  • Animals
  • Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase / genetics*
  • Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Blotting, Western
  • COS Cells
  • Cell Line
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Congenital Abnormalities / genetics*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / genetics*
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism*
  • Lung
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sequence Deletion*


  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • Isoenzymes
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase
  • N-acetyltransferase 1