Human phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase pharmacogenomics: Gene re-sequencing and functional genomics

Yuan Ji, Oreste E. Salavaggione, Liewei Wang, Araba A. Adjei, Bruce Eckloff, Eric D. Wieben, Richard M. Weinshilboum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PNMT, EC2.1.1.28) catalyzes the N-methylation of norepinephrine to form epinephrine. As a step toward understanding the possible contribution of inheritance to individual variation in PNMT-catalyzed epinephrine formation, we 're-sequenced' the entire human PNMT gene, including the three exons, the introns and approximately 1 kb of the 5′-flanking region (5′-FR), using DNA samples from 60 African-American (AA) and 60 Caucasian-American (CA) subjects. Within the 3.5 kb re-sequenced, 18 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were observed, including four non-synonymous coding SNPs (cSNPs) that resulted in the following alterations in encoded amino acid sequence: Asn9Ser, Thr98Ala, Arg112Cys and Ala175Thr. When constructs for the non-synonymous cSNPs were transiently expressed in COS-1 cells, the Ala98 allozyme displayed significantly lower levels of both activity and immunoreactive protein (p < 0.002) than did the wild-type (WT) enzyme due, at least in part, to accelerated protein degradation by a proteasome-mediated process. Luciferase reporter gene constructs were also created for the six common PNMT 5′-FR haplotypes observed. Significant differences were observed among haplotypes in their ability to drive transcription. These observations raise the possibility of inherited variation in the ability to form epinephrine from norepinephrine as a result of variant PNMT polymorphisms and haplotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1766-1776
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of neurochemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • Allozymes
  • Functional genomics
  • Gene resequencing
  • Haplotypes
  • Non-synonymous coding single nucleotide polymorphisms
  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase
  • Polymorphisms
  • Single nucleotide polymorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Human phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase pharmacogenomics: Gene re-sequencing and functional genomics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this