Catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT, EC 22.214.171.124) is important in the central nervous system because it metabolizes catecholamine neurotransmitters such as dopamine. The enzyme catalyses the transfer of the methyl group from S-adenosyl-L-methionine (AdoMet) to one hydroxyl group of catechols. COMT also inactivates catechol-type compounds such as L-DOPA. With selective inhibitors of COMT in combination with L-DOPA, a new principle has been realized in the therapy of Parkinson's disease. Here we solve the atomic structure of COMT to 2.0 A resolution, which provides new insights into the mechanism of the methyl transfer reaction. The co-enzyme-binding domain is strikingly similar to that of an AdoMet-dependent DNA methylase, indicating that all AdoMet methylases may have a common structure.
Crystal structure of catechol O-methyltransferase.,Vidgren J, Svensson LA, Liljas A Nature. 1994 Mar 24;368(6469):354-8. PMID:8127373
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