An enzyme involved in the metabolic breakdown of catecholamines that catalyzes the transfer of methyl group from S-adenosylmethionine including neurotransmitters epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine.
Catechol O-methyltransferase gene is mapped on chromosome 22q11.21 containing 8 exons with various transcript variants isoforms found in a soluble form and membrane-bound form wherein O-methylation is an outcome of the main degradative pathways of the catecholamine transmitters.
Catechol O-methyltransferase expressed predominantly in brain and nerve cells while expressed in little amount in other tissues such as kidney, liver andblood. It helps certain chemical messenger in the brain like neurotransmitter that conducts signals from one nerve cell to another particularly in the prefrontal cortex that coordinates and organized information linked with abstract thinking, planning, inhibition of behavior, working and emotion thus, this enzyme helps to uphold appropriate level of neurotransmitter in the brain.
Catechol O-methyltransferase gene mutation is implicated in mental illness like schizophrenia which alters a single portion of protein building block in the enzymes occurs at the position 158 sequence which results the change of enzyme’s ability to breakdown neurotransmitter. It is significant in the metabolism of cathecol drugs used in the treatment of asthma, hypertension and Parkinson disease.
Gene name: COMT
Protein name: Catechol O-methyltransferase