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Gene Review

DBH  -  dopamine beta-hydroxylase (dopamine beta...

Homo sapiens

Synonyms: DBM, Dopamine beta-hydroxylase, Dopamine beta-monooxygenase
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Disease relevance of DBH


Psychiatry related information on DBH


High impact information on DBH


Chemical compound and disease context of DBH


Biological context of DBH

  • Ovarian neurons were identified as a site of TH and DBH gene expression, and surprisingly, oocytes were identified as an exclusive site of DBH synthesis [18].
  • The absence of DBH from intrinsic catecholaminergic neurons indicates that these neurons have a dopaminergic phenotype [19].
  • Combined results for all families gave positive results with ABO/DBH on chromosome 9 (max lod 2.63) and with D16S291 on chromosome 16 (max lod 3.98) at values of theta of 0.2 in each case [20].
  • In addition, we have isolated and mapped the 3' portions of three putative genes located within or immediately distal to the DBH gene, including one large gene that runs on the opposite strand to DBH and utilizes portions of two DBH exons [21].
  • Physical and cDNA mapping in the DBH region of human chromosome 9q34 [21].

Anatomical context of DBH

  • In the normal adrenal medulla more DBH- than PNMT-immunoreactive gland cells were observed [1].
  • The physiological relevance of this transporter system and DBH in oocytes was indicated by the ability of isolated oocytes to metabolize exogenous DA into NE [18].
  • Although many neuroendocrine tissues outside of the adrenal gland contained immunoreactive NE, only a small percentage of these tissues contained DBH [22].
  • DBH immunoreactivity labeled primarily the noradrenergic pontic cell groups and, to a lesser extent, groups located in the medulla oblongata [23].
  • DBH-like immunoreactivity (IR) was probably labeling the noradrenergic (NA) fibers and terminals in the cerebral cortex since no PNMT-IR fibers were detected [24].

Associations of DBH with chemical compounds

  • This paper summarizes the most important genetic data in correlations with biochemical periphery parameters (especially for DBH, HVA, MHPG, serotonin) [25].
  • Likewise, the inhibition of native and recombinant human DBH by fusaric acid and SKF102698 is not significantly different but IC50 values are 2-3-fold higher than that for the bovine enzyme [26].
  • The Km of tyramine for native and recombinant human enzymes are virtually the same but higher than bovine DBH by about 3-fold [26].
  • Two variants of human DBH that differ by a single amino acid (either serine or alanine) at position 304 were expressed in Drosophila cells, purified, and found to have no significant difference in enzyme activity [26].
  • Biochemical features of the syndrome include undetectable tissue and circulating levels of NE and epinephrine, elevated levels of DA, and undetectable levels of DBH [27].

Physical interactions of DBH

  • In addition, alteration of the YY1-binding site decreased TPA-mediated induction of the DBH promoter activity, suggesting that contiguous cis-regulatory element(s) cooperate with this novel sequence motif [28].

Regulatory relationships of DBH

  • We have evaluated whether post-translational modification of Arix regulates PKA-mediated DBH gene transcription [29].
  • Strikingly, the YY1 element positively regulated basal DBH transcription while simultaneously regulating cAMP-mediated induction negatively, which is a novel mechanism of promoter function [30].
  • Furthermore, SI and SIII preferentially repressed the heterologous thymidine kinase and homologous DBH proximal promoter activities in nonneuronal cells [31].
  • Furthermore, expression of RE1-silencing transcription factor/neuron-restrictive silencer factor repressed neither DBH nor tyrosine hydroxylase promoter activity [31].
  • Using transient transfection of P19 or NT-2 cells, HAND2 is shown to synergistically enhance Phox2a-driven transcriptional activity at the DBH promoter, an effect that is enhanced by cAMP [32].

Other interactions of DBH

  • We confirmed the DAT1 association and also identified two additional susceptibility loci at the DRD5 and DBH [33].
  • Transmission of the 'associated' alleles at DAT1 and DBH is stronger in familial cases, RR(DAT1)=1.29 (1.04-1.59), RR(DBH)=1.49 (1.10-2.00), but for DRD5, transmission is stronger in non-familial cases, RR=1.59 (1.05-2.42) [34].
  • RESULTS: TH was demonstrated in 9 (43%) of 21 carcinoids and in all (100%) of 20 pheochromocytomas, DBH in 8 (38%) carcinoids and in 15 (75%) pheochromocytomas, and PNMT in 7 (33%) carcinoids and in 13 (65%) pheochromocytomas [3].
  • Serial sections were immunohistochemically stained for DBH and hybridized with rabbit-specific TH and NET cRNAs and a human NPY probe [35].
  • AADC and DBH were present universally in all functioning and non-functioning tumours, including TH-negative tumours [36].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of DBH

  • Therefore, we utilized the sensitive in situ hybridization technique to identify the presence of these messages in conjunction with the location of NE cells, the latter being marked by dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH), the specific enzyme for NE synthesis [35].
  • Double-labelling experiments using TH and DBH, and surgical sympathectomy revealed that the majority of NPY-IR fibres around blood vessels were probably noradrenergic [37].
  • Further the enzyme activities of CA biosynthesis in human vas deferens excised at elective vasectomy were related with the blood pressure, plasma CA, serum DBH of 57 men at the time of vasectomy [38].
  • We have purified native and recombinant human DBH by a modified purification procedure using SP-Sepharose, lentil lectin-Sepharose and gel-filtration chromatography and carried out studies to compare the two enzymes [26].
  • These results strongly support the conclusion that recombinant human DBH from Drosophila S2 cells can be used in place of human neuroblastoma-derived DBH for drug screening, characterization of the enzyme's physicochemical properties, and determination of structure-function relationships [26].


  1. Enkephalin- and somatostatin-like immunoreactivities in human adrenal medulla and pheochromocytoma. Lundberg, J.M., Hamberger, B., Schultzberg, M., Hökfelt, T., Granberg, P.O., Efendić, S., Terenius, L., Goldstein, M., Luft, R. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1979) [Pubmed]
  2. The tuberous sclerosis gene on chromosome 9q34 acts as a growth suppressor. Green, A.J., Johnson, P.H., Yates, J.R. Hum. Mol. Genet. (1994) [Pubmed]
  3. Catecholamine-synthesizing enzymes in carcinoid tumors and pheochromocytomas. Meijer, W.G., Copray, S.C., Hollema, H., Kema, I.P., Zwart, N., Mantingh-Otter, I., Links, T.P., Willemse, P.H., de Vries, E.G. Clin. Chem. (2003) [Pubmed]
  4. High levels of neuropeptide Y in peripheral noradrenergic neurons in various mammals including man. Lundberg, J.M., Terenius, L., Hökfelt, T., Goldstein, M. Neurosci. Lett. (1983) [Pubmed]
  5. Neuropeptides in the human superior cervical ganglion. Baffi, J., Görcs, T., Slowik, F., Horváth, M., Lekka, N., Pásztor, E., Palkovits, M. Brain Res. (1992) [Pubmed]
  6. Additive effect of three noradrenergic genes (ADRA2a, ADRA2C, DBH) on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and learning disabilities in Tourette syndrome subjects. Comings, D.E., Gade-Andavolu, R., Gonzalez, N., Blake, H., Wu, S., MacMurray, J.P. Clin. Genet. (1999) [Pubmed]
  7. Polymorphisms and low plasma activity of Dopamine-beta-hydroxylase in ADHD children. Kopeckova, M., Paclt, I., Goetz, P. Neuro Endocrinol. Lett. (2006) [Pubmed]
  8. Segregation and linkage studies of plasma dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (DBH), erythrocyte catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), and platelet monoamine oxidase (MAO): possible linkage between the ABO locus and a gene controlling DBH activity. Goldin, L.R., Gershon, E.S., Lake, C.R., Murphy, D.L., McGinniss, M., Sparkes, R.S. Am. J. Hum. Genet. (1982) [Pubmed]
  9. Biochemical differences in children with conduct disorder socialized and undersocialized. Rogeness, G.A., Hernandez, J.M., Macedo, C.A., Mitchell, E.L. The American journal of psychiatry. (1982) [Pubmed]
  10. Genetic variation in dopaminergic pathways and short-term effectiveness of the nicotine patch. Johnstone, E.C., Yudkin, P.L., Hey, K., Roberts, S.J., Welch, S.J., Murphy, M.F., Griffiths, S.E., Walton, R.T. Pharmacogenetics (2004) [Pubmed]
  11. Expression of NGF in sympathetic neurons leads to excessive axon outgrowth from ganglia but decreased terminal innervation within tissues. Hoyle, G.W., Mercer, E.H., Palmiter, R.D., Brinster, R.L. Neuron (1993) [Pubmed]
  12. The primary structure of human dopamine-beta-hydroxylase: insights into the relationship between the soluble and the membrane-bound forms of the enzyme. Lamouroux, A., Vigny, A., Faucon Biguet, N., Darmon, M.C., Franck, R., Henry, J.P., Mallet, J. EMBO J. (1987) [Pubmed]
  13. CSF dopamine beta-hydroxylase in schizophrenia. Sternberg, D.E., van Kammen, D.P., Lerner, P., Ballenger, J.C., Marder, S.R., Post, R.M., Bunney, W.E. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry (1983) [Pubmed]
  14. Variations in the dopamine beta-hydroxylase gene are not associated with the autonomic disorders, pure autonomic failure, or multiple system atrophy. Cho, S., Kim, C.H., Cubells, J.F., Zabetian, C.P., Hwang, D.Y., Kim, J.W., Cohen, B.M., Biaggioni, I., Robertson, D., Kim, K.S. Am. J. Med. Genet. A (2003) [Pubmed]
  15. Nicotine increases expression of tyrosine hydroxylase gene. Involvement of protein kinase A-mediated pathway. Hiremagalur, B., Nankova, B., Nitahara, J., Zeman, R., Sabban, E.L. J. Biol. Chem. (1993) [Pubmed]
  16. A twin study on three enzymes (DBH, COMT, MAO) of catecholamine metabolism. Correlations with MMPI. Winter, H., Herschel, M., Propping, P., Friedl, W., Vogel, F. Psychopharmacology (Berl.) (1978) [Pubmed]
  17. Multivariate analysis of monoamine indices in patients with chronic schizophrenia. Frecska, E., Bagdy, G., Perenyi, A., Arato, M., Degrell, I., Mogyorosy, Z. The Journal of neuropsychiatry and clinical neurosciences. (1989) [Pubmed]
  18. Oocytes are a source of catecholamines in the primate ovary: evidence for a cell-cell regulatory loop. Mayerhofer, A., Smith, G.D., Danilchik, M., Levine, J.E., Wolf, D.P., Dissen, G.A., Ojeda, S.R. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1998) [Pubmed]
  19. Chemical coding of the human gastrointestinal nervous system: cholinergic, VIPergic, and catecholaminergic phenotypes. Anlauf, M., Schäfer, M.K., Eiden, L., Weihe, E. J. Comp. Neurol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  20. Two loci for tuberous sclerosis: one on 9q34 and one on 16p13. Povey, S., Burley, M.W., Attwood, J., Benham, F., Hunt, D., Jeremiah, S.J., Franklin, D., Gillett, G., Malas, S., Robson, E.B. Ann. Hum. Genet. (1994) [Pubmed]
  21. Physical and cDNA mapping in the DBH region of human chromosome 9q34. Gilbert, J.R., Kumar, A., Newey, S., Rao, N., Ioannou, P., Qiu, H., Lin, D., Xu, P., Pettenati, M.J., Pericak-Vance, M.A. Hum. Hered. (2000) [Pubmed]
  22. Immunohistochemical localization of epinephrine, norepinephrine, catecholamine-synthesizing enzymes, and chromogranin in neuroendocrine cells and tumors. Lloyd, R.V., Sisson, J.C., Shapiro, B., Verhofstad, A.A. Am. J. Pathol. (1986) [Pubmed]
  23. Development of the catecholamine neurons in human embryos and fetuses, with special emphasis on the innervation of the cerebral cortex. Zecevic, N., Verney, C. J. Comp. Neurol. (1995) [Pubmed]
  24. Immunocytochemical evidence of well-developed dopaminergic and noradrenergic innervations in the frontal cerebral cortex of human fetuses at midgestation. Verney, C., Milosevic, A., Alvarez, C., Berger, B. J. Comp. Neurol. (1993) [Pubmed]
  25. Biochemical markers and genetic research of ADHD. Paclt, I., Koudelová, J., Krepelová, A., Uhlíková, P., Gazdíková, M., Bauer, P. Neuro Endocrinol. Lett. (2005) [Pubmed]
  26. Expression of human dopamine beta-hydroxylase in Drosophila Schneider 2 cells. Li, B., Tsing, S., Kosaka, A.H., Nguyen, B., Osen, E.G., Bach, C., Chan, H., Barnett, J. Biochem. J. (1996) [Pubmed]
  27. Mutations in the dopamine beta-hydroxylase gene are associated with human norepinephrine deficiency. Kim, C.H., Zabetian, C.P., Cubells, J.F., Cho, S., Biaggioni, I., Cohen, B.M., Robertson, D., Kim, K.S. Am. J. Med. Genet. (2002) [Pubmed]
  28. Identification and characterization of a novel phorbol ester-responsive DNA sequence in the 5'-flanking region of the human dopamine beta-hydroxylase gene. Ishiguro, H., Yamada, K., Ichino, N., Nagatsu, T. J. Biol. Chem. (1998) [Pubmed]
  29. The paired-like homeodomain protein, Arix, mediates protein kinase A-stimulated dopamine beta-hydroxylase gene transcription through its phosphorylation status. Adachi, M., Lewis, E.J. J. Biol. Chem. (2002) [Pubmed]
  30. Multiple protein factors interact with the cis-regulatory elements of the proximal promoter in a cell-specific manner and regulate transcription of the dopamine beta-hydroxylase gene. Seo, H., Yang, C., Kim, H.S., Kim, K.S. J. Neurosci. (1996) [Pubmed]
  31. The cell-specific silencer region of the human dopamine beta-hydroxylase gene contains several negative regulatory elements. Kim, H.S., Yang, C., Kim, K.S. J. Neurochem. (1998) [Pubmed]
  32. HAND2 synergistically enhances transcription of dopamine-beta-hydroxylase in the presence of Phox2a. Xu, H., Firulli, A.B., Zhang, X., Howard, M.J. Dev. Biol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  33. Linkage disequilibrium mapping at DAT1, DRD5 and DBH narrows the search for ADHD susceptibility alleles at these loci. Hawi, Z., Lowe, N., Kirley, A., Gruenhage, F., Nöthen, M., Greenwood, T., Kelsoe, J., Fitzgerald, M., Gill, M. Mol. Psychiatry (2003) [Pubmed]
  34. Mapping susceptibility loci in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: preferential transmission of parental alleles at DAT1, DBH and DRD5 to affected children. Daly, G., Hawi, Z., Fitzgerald, M., Gill, M. Mol. Psychiatry (1999) [Pubmed]
  35. Topographic comparison of the expression of norepinephrine transporter, tyrosine hydroxylase and neuropeptide Y mRNA in association with dopamine beta-hydroxylase neurons in the rabbit brainstem. Pau, K.Y., Ma, Y.J., Yu, J.H., Yang, S.P., Airhart, N., Spies, H.G. Brain Res. Mol. Brain Res. (1997) [Pubmed]
  36. Catecholamine synthesizing enzymes in 70 cases of functioning and non-functioning phaeochromocytoma and extra-adrenal paraganglioma. Kimura, N., Miura, Y., Nagatsu, I., Nagura, H. Virchows Archiv. A, Pathological anatomy and histopathology. (1992) [Pubmed]
  37. Neuropeptide Y: presence in sympathetic and parasympathetic innervation of the nasal mucosa. Lacroix, J.S., Anggård, A., Hökfelt, T., O'Hare, M.M., Fahrenkrug, J., Lundberg, J.M. Cell Tissue Res. (1990) [Pubmed]
  38. Biochemical evaluation of sympathetic nerve tone in essential hypertension. Miura, Y., DeQuattro, V. Jpn. Circ. J. (1975) [Pubmed]
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