The enzyme arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (aaNAT) catalyzes the rate-limiting step in melatonin formation in the vertebrate pineal gland. Numerous attempts to purify this highly unstable enzyme from vertebrates have been unsuccessful. Here, we report the purification of an aaNAT enzyme from Drosophila melanogaster, using a radioenzymatic activity assay and column chromatography. The isolated 29.5-kDa protein acetylates tryptamine, dopamine and serotonin with affinities of 0.89 to 0.97 mM, respectively. This suggests that the identified aaNAT may be involved in melatonin synthesis and sclerotization as well as in neurotransmitter catabolism in insects. © 1995.
Hintermann, E., Jenö, P., & Meyer, U. A. (1995). Isolation and characterization of an arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase from Drosophila melanogaster. FEBS Letters, 375(1–2), 148–150. https://doi.org/10.1016/0014-5793(95)01198-N