Kynuramines, metabolites of melatonin and other indoles: the resurrection of an almost forgotten class of biogenic amines

Authors


Address reprint requests to Rüdiger Hardeland, Johann Friedrich Blumenbach Institute of Zoology and Anthropology, University of Göttingen, Berliner Str. 28, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany.
E-mail: rhardel@gwdg.de

Abstract

Abstract:  Kynuramines represent their own class of biogenic amines. They are formed either by decarboxylation of kynurenines or pyrrole ring cleavage of indoleamines. N2-formylated compounds formed in this last reaction can be deformylated either enzymatically by arylamine formamidases or hemoperoxidases, or photochemically. The earlier literature mainly focussed on cardiovascular effects of kynuramine, 5-hydroxykynuramine and their N1,N1-dimethylated analogs, including indirect effects via release of catecholamines or acetylcholine and interference with serotonin receptors. After the discovery of N1-acetyl-N2-formyl-5-methoxykynuramine (AFMK) and N1-acetyl-5-methoxykynuramine (AMK) as major brain metabolites of melatonin, these compounds became of particular interest. They were shown to be produced enzymatically, pseudoenzymatically, by various free radical-mediated and via photochemical processes. In recent years, AFMK and AMK were shown to scavenge reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, thereby forming several newly discovered 3-indolinone, cinnolinone and quinazoline compounds, and to protect tissues from damage by reactive intermediates in various models. AMK is of special interest due to its properties as a potent cyclooxygenase inhibitor, NO scavenger forming a stable nitrosation product, inhibitor and/or downregulator of neuronal and inducible NO synthases, and a mitochondrial metabolism modulator. AMK easily interacts with aromates, forms adducts with tyrosyl and tryptophanyl residues, and may modify proteins.

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