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Definition of Catechol-O-methyltransferase

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Catechol-O-methyltransferase: COMT. An enzyme that catalyzes the degradation of catecholamines, including the neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. COMT is also important in the metabolism of catechol drugs used in the treatment of hypertension, asthma, and Parkinson disease. A genetic polymorphism (a common normal variant) in COMT contributes to the responses to pain and stress.

Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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