Monoamine oxidases and related amine oxidases as phase I enzymes in the metabolism of xenobiotics

J Neural Transm Suppl. 1998;52:149-71. doi: 10.1007/978-3-7091-6499-0_16.


To date most of the interest in oxidative metabolism of xenobiotics has been devoted to the role of the microsomal cytochrome P-450 system and to establish the basis for classifying and naming P450 enzymes. The contribution of amine oxidases to the metabolism of xenobiotics has been largely neglected, with the exception of the contribution of monoamine oxidases (MAOs) to the metabolism of exogenous tyramine and the studies of the "cheese effect" produced as the result of ingestion of large amounts of tyramine-containing foods under particular conditions. A review of the involvement of the mitochondrial MAOs in drug metabolism was published in 1988. Since that time, considerable additional evidence has appeared in the literature to support the contribution of MAOs to drug metabolism. In addition, the involvement of other amine oxidases in the metabolism of foreign compounds has been established. A second review on the contribution of amine oxidases to the metabolism of xenobiotics was therefore published in 1994. On an arbitrary basis, the heterogeneous class of amine oxidases can be divided into two types according to their prosthetic group: the flavineadenine dinucleotide (FAD)-dependent amine oxidases (Monoamine Oxidase and Polyamine Oxidase) and the amine oxidases not containing FAD (Semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidases). In this overview, the contributions of these two types in xenobiotic metabolism are considered separately.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biotransformation
  • Catechol O-Methyltransferase / metabolism
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Microsomes / enzymology
  • Monoamine Oxidase / metabolism*
  • Oxidoreductases Acting on CH-NH Group Donors / metabolism*
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Toxins, Biological / pharmacokinetics
  • Xenobiotics / pharmacokinetics*


  • Toxins, Biological
  • Xenobiotics
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Monoamine Oxidase
  • Oxidoreductases Acting on CH-NH Group Donors
  • polyamine oxidase
  • Catechol O-Methyltransferase