Arylamine N-acetyltransferase (NAT) activity was identified and characterized in bovine retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells. Upon examining the RPE supernatant for multiple ionic species, one major NAT activity peak was detected. Based upon its substrate specificity, it is best described as an arylamine NAT. However, there was detectable arylalkylamine NAT activity within this peak. Further purification via size-exclusion HPLC revealed multiple peaks of NAT activity, although the major peak (around 30 kDa) again predominantly exhibits arylamine NAT activity. However, substrate specificity studies indicate that this arylamine NAT activity is able to acetylate specific arylalkylamine substrates. This arylamine NAT demonstrates a monomorphic pattern of acetylation since it acetylates rho-aminobenzoic acid rather than sulfamethazine. It also demonstrates a low sensitivity to methotrexate inhibition indicated by the high IC50 value (570 microM). The mode of inhibition by methotrexate is uncompetitive as demonstrated by kinetic analysis.