1. An acetyl-CoA--S-substituted cysteine N-acetyltransferase in rat liver and kidney preparations was investigated, by using an assay involving incubations with S-benzyl-L-cysteine and [l-14C]acetyl-CoA and extraction of the radioactive product with ethyl acetate. 2. The enzyme was associated with the microsomal fraction and could not be solubilized. Metal ions, EDTA and detergents did not significantly affect the enzyme activity. p-Chloromercuribenzoate and N-ethylmaleimide inhibited the enzyme. 3. Other S-substituted cysteines were acetylated at about the same rate as S-benzyl-L-cysteine. Acetylation of cysteine itself and of methionine, ethionine and tryptophan could be detected but was much slower. Acetylation of aspartic acid, glycine, phenylalanine and serine could not be detected. Palmitoyl-CoA was not a substrate. 4. The enzyme is presumably responsible for the acetylation step of mercapturic acid synthesis; a more physiological function is not yet known, except that the enzyme may be involved in acetylation of those amino acids which occur in elevated amounts in some disorders of amino acid metabolism.
- © 1975 London: The Biochemical Society