Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) catalyzes the transfer of a methyl group from Sadenosyl-
L-methionine to catechols. Because COMT has an important role in the metabolism of
catecholamines, catechol estrogens, and drugs with a catechol moiety such as L-Dopa, measurement of
COMT activity in several tissues is important. Furthermore, COMT inhibitors are used clinically in the
treatment of Parkinson’s disease, and activation of COMT can control high blood pressure. Hence,
high-throughput screening methods for COMT inhibitors and activators are needed. In this
methodological article, two analytical methods for the measurement of COMT activity are described.
One is very sensitive, and the other is a rapid assay. Norepinephrine, an endogenous compound was
used as the substrate, and the enzymatic product (normetanephrine) was quantified with highperformance
liquid chromatography-fluorescence or chemiluminescence detection.
Keywords: Chemiluminescence, enzyme, fluorescence, HPLC, Parkinson’s disease, substrate.
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