PMID: 4724587Mar 1, 1973

Multiple N-acetyltransferases and drug metabolism. Tissue distribution, characterization and significance of mammalian N-acetyltransferase

The Biochemical Journal
D J Hearse, W W Weber


Investigations in the rabbit have indicated the existence of more than one N-acetyltransferase (EC At least two enzymes, possibly isoenzymes, were partially characterized. The enzymes differed in their tissue distribution, substrate specificity, stability and pH characteristics. One of the enzymes was primarily associated with liver and gut and catalysed the acetylation of a wide range of drugs and foreign compounds, e.g. isoniazid, p-aminobenzoic acid, sulphamethazine and sulphadiazine. The activity of this enzyme corresponded to the well-characterized polymorphic trait of isoniazid acetylation, and determined whether individuals were classified as either ;rapid' or ;slow' acetylators. Another enzyme activity found in extrahepatic tissues readily catalysed the acetylation of p-aminobenzoic acid but was much less active towards isoniazid and sulphamethazine. The activity of this enzyme remained relatively constant from individual to individual. Studies in vitro and in vivo with both ;rapid' and ;slow' acetylator rabbits revealed that, for certain substrates, extrahepatic N-acetyltransferase contributes significantly to the total acetylating capacity of the individual. The possible significance and applicability of the...Continue Reading


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