Molecular genetics of human polymorphic N-acetyltransferase: enzymatic analysis of 15 recombinant wild-type, mutant, and chimeric NAT2 allozymes

Hum Mol Genet. 1994 May;3(5):729-34. doi: 10.1093/hmg/3.5.729.


Human polymorphic N-acetyltransferase (NAT2) catalyzes the N-acetylation of arylamine drugs and carcinogens. Human acetylator phenotype is regulated at the NAT2 locus and has been associated with differential risk to certain drug toxicities or cancer. We examined arylamine substrate and acetyl coenzyme A cofactor affinities, and the N-acetyltransferase catalytic activities of the wild-type and 14 different mutant or chimeric human NAT2 alleles expressed in an Escherichia coli JM105 expression system. NAT2 alleles contained nucleic acid substitutions at positions 191(G-->A; Arg64-->Gln), 282(C-->T; silent), 341(T-->C; Ile114-->Thr), 481(C-->T; silent), 590(G-->A; Arg197-->Gln), 803(A-->G; Lys268-->Arg), 857(G-->A; Gly286-->Glu) and various combinations (282/590; 282/803; 282/857; 341/481; 341/803; 341/481/803; 481/803) of the 870 base pair NAT2 coding region. Expression of all 15 NAT2 alleles produced immunoreactive NAT2 protein with N-acetylation activity. NAT2 proteins encoded by alleles with nucleic acid substitutions at positions 191, 341, 590, 282/590, 341/481, 341/803, and 341/481/803 exhibited arylamine N-acetyltransferase maximum velocities significantly (P < 0.001) lower than the wildtype NAT2. Thus, nucleic acid substitutions at positions 191, 341, and 590 either alone or in combination with other silent or conservative amino acid substitutions were sufficient to result in NAT2 proteins with significant reductions in N-acetylation activities. The recombinant NAT2 proteins also showed relative differences in intrinsic stability following incubation at 37 degrees C and 50 degrees C. NAT2 encoded by alleles with nucleotide substitutions at positions 191 and 857 were particularly unstable relative to the wild type.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetyl Coenzyme A / metabolism
  • Acetylation
  • Alleles
  • Aminophenols / metabolism
  • Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Colon / enzymology
  • Escherichia coli
  • Fluorenes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phenotype
  • Point Mutation
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Protein Denaturation
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Aminophenols
  • Fluorenes
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • 2-aminophenol
  • 2-aminofluorene
  • Acetyl Coenzyme A
  • Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase