The enzyme DOPA decarboxylase (aromatic-L-amino-acid decarboxylase, DDC) plays an important role in the dopaminergic system and participates in the uptake and decarboxylation of amine precursors in the peripheral tissues. Apart from catecholamines, DDC catalyses the biosynthesis of serotonin and trace amines. DDC is widespread in mammals, insects and plants. In mammals, the enzyme is found in neuronal and non-neuronal tissues. DDC belongs to the a-family of aminotransferases (Fold-Type I), in particular to the subgroup II of a-decarboxylases to which also glutamate decarboxylase and histidine decarboxylase belong. DDC is not considered to be rate-limiting in physiological catecholamines or indoleamines synthesis, but it becomes rate-limiting in several pathological states related to aberrant dopamine production, such as Parkinson disease (PD) or the bipolar syndrome.


1.Bertoldi M. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2014 Mar 15;546:1-7.