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Biochemistry. 2014 May 13;53(18):2956-65. doi: 10.1021/bi500175p. Epub 2014 Apr 28.

Noncompetitive inhibition of indolethylamine-N-methyltransferase by N,N-dimethyltryptamine and N,N-dimethylaminopropyltryptamine.

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Department of Neuroscience, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health , 1300 University Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, United States.


Indolethylamine-N-methyltransferase (INMT) is a Class 1 transmethylation enzyme known for its production of N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a hallucinogen with affinity for various serotonergic, adrenergic, histaminergic, dopaminergic, and sigma-1 receptors. DMT is produced via the action of INMT on the endogenous substrates tryptamine and S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM). The biological, biochemical, and selective small molecule regulation of INMT enzyme activity remain largely unknown. Kinetic mechanisms for inhibition of rabbit lung INMT (rabINMT) by the product, DMT, and by a new novel tryptamine derivative were determined. After Michaelis-Menten and Lineweaver-Burk analyses had been applied to study inhibition, DMT was found to be a mixed competitive and noncompetitive inhibitor when measured against tryptamine. The novel tryptamine derivative, N-[2-(1H-indol-3-yl)ethyl]-N',N'-dimethylpropane-1,3-diamine (propyl dimethyl amino tryptamine or PDAT), was shown to inhibit rabINMT by a pure noncompetitive mechanism when measured against tryptamine with a Ki of 84 μM. No inhibition by PDAT was observed at 2 mM when it was tested against structurally similar Class 1 methyltransferases, such as human phenylethanolamine-N-methyltransferase (hPNMT) and human nicotinamide-N-methyltransferase (hNNMT), indicating selectivity for INMT. The demonstration of noncompetitive mechanisms for INMT inhibition implies the presence of an inhibitory allosteric site. In silico analyses using the computer modeling software Autodock and the rabINMT sequence threaded onto the human INMT (hINMT) structure (Protein Data Bank entry 2A14 ) identified an N-terminal helix-loop-helix non-active site binding region of the enzyme. The energies for binding of DMT and PDAT to this region of rabINMT, as determined by Autodock, were -6.34 and -7.58 kcal/mol, respectively. Assessment of the allosteric control of INMT may illuminate new biochemical pathway(s) underlying the biology of INMT.

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