Melatonin Synthesis: Adenosine 3',5'-Monophosphate and Norepinephrine Stimulate N-Acetyltransferase

Science  22 May 1970:
Vol. 168, Issue 3934, pp. 979-980
DOI: 10.1126/science.168.3934.979


Treatment of cultured rat pineal glands with norepinephrine or dibutyryl adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate causes a six- to tenfold stimulation of N-acetyltransferase. This enzyme converts serotonin to N-acetylserotonin, the immediate precursor of melatonin. The increased synthesis of melatonin caused by norepinephrine treatment appears to be the result of stimulation of N-acetyltransferase by an adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate mechanism.