One of a number of genes that influence the synthesis of JV-acetyl-transferase, an enzyme that participates in many metabolic functions within the body. The JV-acetyl-transferase 2 gene affects the relationship between iV-acetyl-transferase and metabolism of the MONOAMINE NEUROTRANSMITTERS including dopamine. Studies have been mixed as to whether mutations of the iV-acetyl-transferase 2 gene are associated with an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease in either familial or sporadic presentations. Some researchers believe it might prove to be one of the multiple factors that likely converge to cause Parkinson’s to develop.
Scientists discovered the first iV-acetyl-trans-ferase gene in 1996 and by 2002 had identified nearly two dozen variants. Mutations in a number of these are linked to other diseases, most notably diabetes, bladder cancer, some kinds of breast cancer, colorectal cancer, systemic lupus erythe-matosus, and Alzheimer’s disease. Collectively, scientists refer to the many variants of the JV
-acetyl-transferase gene as NATs.