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There is increasing evidence that human arylamine N-acetyltransferase type 1 (NAT1, EC, although first identified as a homologue of a drug-metabolising enzyme, appears to be a marker in human oestrogen receptor positive breast cancer. Mouse Nat2 is the mouse equivalent of human NAT1. The development of mouse models of breast cancer is important, and it is essential to explore the biological role of mouse Nat2. We have therefore produced mouse Nat2 as a recombinant protein and have investigated its substrate specificity profile in comparison with human NAT1. In addition, we have tested the effects of inhibitors on mouse Nat2, including compounds which are endogenous and exogenous steroids. We show that tamoxifen, genistein and diethylstilbestrol inhibit mouse Nat2. The steroid analogue, bisphenol A, also inhibits mouse Nat2 enzymic activity and is shown by NMR spectroscopy, through shifts in proton peaks, to bind close to the active site. A three-dimensional structure for human NAT1 has recently been released, and we have used this crystal structure to generate a model of the mouse Nat2 structure. We propose that a conformational change in the structure is required in order for ligands to bind to the active site of the protein.

Original publication




Journal article


Biochem Pharmacol

Publication Date





1550 - 1560


Animals, Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase, Cells, Cultured, Cricetinae, Humans, Isoenzymes, Mice, Protein Structure, Tertiary, Sequence Homology, Amino Acid, Substrate Specificity