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J Biol Chem. 2007 Feb 16;282(7):4233-7. Epub 2006 Dec 12.

Arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase: "the Timezyme".

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Section on Neuroendocrinology, Office of Scientific Director, NICHD, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase controls daily changes in melatonin production by the pineal gland and thereby plays a unique role in biological timing in vertebrates. Arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase is also expressed in the retina, where it may play other roles in addition to signaling, including neurotransmission and detoxification. Large changes in activity reflect cyclic 3',5'-adenosine monophosphate-dependent phosphorylation of arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase, leading to formation of a regulatory complex with 14-3-3 proteins. This activates the enzyme and prevents proteosomal proteolysis. The conserved features of regulatory systems that control arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase are a circadian clock and environmental lighting.

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