A Rapid and Efficient Assay for the Characterization of Substrates and Inhibitors of Nicotinamide N-Methyltransferase

Matthijs J van HarenNathaniel I Martin


Nicotinamide N-methyltransferase (NNMT) is one of the most abundant small molecule methyltransferases in the human body and is primarily responsible for the N-methylation of the nicotinamide (vitamin B3). Employing the cofactor S-adenosyl-l-methionine, NNMT transfers a methyl group to the pyridine nitrogen of nicotinamide to generate N-methylnicotinamide. Interestingly, NNMT is also able to N-methylate a variety of other pyridine-containing small molecules, suggesting a secondary role for the enzyme in the detoxification of xenobiotics. A number of recent studies have also revealed links between NNMT overexpression and a variety of diseases, including multiple cancers, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, and obesity. To facilitate further study of both the substrate scope and potential for inhibitor development, we here describe the development of a new NNMT activity assay. The assay makes use of ultra-high-performance hydrophilic interaction chromatography, allowing for rapid separation of the reaction products, coupled with quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometric detection, providing for enhanced sensitivity and enabling high-throughput sample analysis. We successfully demonstrated the general applicability of the method by p...Continue Reading


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