Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 59 (34) 14342-14346 [2020-08-17; online 2020-07-08]
N-Acetyltransferases play critical roles in the deactivation and clearance of xenobiotics, including clinical drugs. NAT2 has been classified as an arylamine N-acetyltransferase that mainly converts aromatic amines, hydroxylamines, and hydrazines. Herein, we demonstrate that the human arylamine N-acetyltransferase NAT2 also acetylates aliphatic endogenous amines. Metabolomic analysis and chemical synthesis revealed increased intracellular concentrations of mono- and diacetylated spermidine in human cell lines expressing the rapid compared to the slow acetylator NAT2 phenotype. The regioselective N8 -acetylation of monoacetylated spermidine by NAT2 answers the long-standing question of the source of diacetylspermidine. We also identified selective acetylation of structurally diverse alkylamine-containing drugs by NAT2, which may contribute to variations in patient responses. The results demonstrate a previously unknown functionality and potential regulatory role for NAT2, and we suggest that this enzyme should be considered for re-classification.