Enzyme activity of macrophage migration inhibitory factor toward oxidized catecholamines

Jun Matsunaga, Debasish Sinha, Lew Pannell, Chie Santist, Francisco Solano, Graeme J. Wistow, Vincent J. Hearing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a relatively small, 12.5-kDa protein that is structurally related to some isomerases and for which multiple immune and catalytic roles have been proposed. MIF is widely expressed in tissues with particularly high levels in neural tissues. Here we show that MIF is able to catalyze the conversion of 3,4- dihydroxyphenylaminechrome and norepinephrinechrome, toxic quinone products of the neurotransmitter catecholamines 3,4-dihydroxyphenylamine and norepinephrine, to indoledihydroxy derivatives that may serve as precursors to neuromelanin. This raises the possibility that MIF participates in a detoxification pathway for catecholamine products and could therefore have a protective role in neural tissues, which as in Parkinson's disease, may be subject to catecholamine-related cell death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3268-3271
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 5 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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