COMT

Worrier or warrior? The COMT gene has instructions for making an enzyme responsible for the breakdown of dopamine and other catechol’s such as norepinephrine and epinephrine. There are two variants of this gene known as the worrier and the warrior. The homozygous SNP, or the “worrier,” can result in reduced dopamine degradation leading to altered stress response. In contrast, the “warrior” mutation breaks down these neurotransmitters quickly. In white populations, the estimated genotype frequencies are 25% for high enzymatic activity, 50% for intermediate, and 25% for low enzymatic activity. The low enzymatic activity variation is less common in black populations, measuring at only 7% for the mutation. COMT sits in the pathway of many CYP genes and can hinder the ability to properly detoxify certain medications. COMT is important in phase II detoxification of the liver. (Source 1, Source 2)