Humans possess two N-acetyltransferase isozymes (NAT1 and NAT2). We cloned and sequenced a novel NAT1 allele (Genbank HSU 80835) that contained nucleotide substitutions at -344 (C-->T), -40 (A-->T), 445 [G-->A(Val-->Ile)], 459 [G-->A(silent)], 640 [T-->G(Ser-->Ala)], a 9 base pair deletion between nucleotides 1065 and 1090, and 1095 (C-->A). The novel NAT1 allele which we have designated NAT1*17 is similar to NAT1*11 except for a G445A substitution (Val149-->Ile) in the NAT1 coding region. The G445A (Val149-->Ile) substitution yielded no significant changes in levels of immunoreactivity, as detected by Western blot, nor in intrinsic stability of the recombinant N-acetyltransferase protein. However, the G445A (Val149-->Ile) substitution yielded expression of recombinant NAT1 protein that catalyzed the N-acetylation of aromatic amines and the O- and N,O-acetylation of their N-hydroxylated metabolites at rates up to 2-fold higher than wild-type recombinant human NAT1.