3-Amino-1-phenylprop-1-ene (cinnamylamine) and some derivatives were examined as substrates for monoamine oxidases A and B in mitochondria. All of the amines examined were readily oxidized by monoamine oxidase B but much less readily by monoamine oxidase A. E-Cinnamylamine was found to have Km 0.025 mM and Vmax. 3.9 nmol/min per mg of mitochondrial protein. Corresponding values with monoamine oxidase A were 0.026 mM and 0.85 nmol/min per mg respectively. Despite their different stereochemistry, E- and Z-N-methylcinnamylamines were almost equally effective as substrates for monoamine oxidase B. The characteristic u.v. absorbance and high absorption coefficient of cinnamaldehyde, the product produced by enzymic oxidation of cinnamylamine, is utilized in a sensitive continuous spectrophotometric assay for both enzymes in the rat and for the assay of a purified monoamine oxidase B from bovine liver.

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