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Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol. 2013 Jan;157(1):93-102. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpc.2012.10.003. Epub 2012 Oct 11.

Characterization of arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase from silkmoth (Antheraea pernyi) and pesticidal drug design based on the baculovirus-expressed enzyme.

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  • 1Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Kobe University, Rokkodai-cho, Nadaku, Japan.


Arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT; EC catalyzes the N-acetylation of arylalkylamines. A cDNA encoding AANAT (ApAANAT) was cloned from Antheraea pernyi by PCR. The cDNA of 1966 bp encodes a 261 amino acid protein. The amino acid sequence was found to have a high homology with Bombyx mori AANAT (BmNAT) but had very low homology with vertebrate AANATs. Amino acid sequence analysis revealed that four insect AANATs cloned from three species including ApAANAT formed a distinct cluster from the vertebrate group. A recombinant ApAANAT protein was expressed in Sf9 cells using a baculovirus expression system, having AANAT activity. The transformed cell extract acetylated tryptamine, serotonin, dopamine, tyramine, octopamine and norepinephrine. The AANAT activity was inhibited at over 0.03 mM tryptamine. Although insect AANATs have been considered as a target of insecticide, this type of insecticide has never been developed. Screening a chemical library of Otsuka Chemical Co., Ltd., we found a novel compound and its derivatives that inhibited the AANAT activity of ApAANAT. This may facilitate investigation of the monoamine metabolic pathway in insects and the development of new types of insecticides and inhibitors of AANATs.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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