- Human pathology

Home > A. Molecular pathology > COMT


MIM.116790 22q11.2

Wednesday 13 October 2004

Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is a key enzyme in the elimination of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex of the human brain.

Catechol-O-methyltransferase catalyzes the transfer of a methyl group from S-adenosylmethionine to catecholamines, including the neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.

This O-methylation results in one of the major degradative pathways of the catecholamine transmitters.

In addition to its role in the metabolism of endogenous substances, COMT is important in the metabolism of catechol drugs used in the treatment of hypertension, asthma, and Parkinson disease.


- genetic variation in the COMT gene in

  • altered prefrontal cortex function
  • higher risk for schizophrenia