Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Anal Biochem. 2009 Jan 1;384(1):151-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ab.2008.09.031. Epub 2008 Sep 25.

A cost-effective colorimetric assay for phenolic O-methyltransferases and characterization of caffeate 3-O-methyltransferases from Populus trichocarpa.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biology, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973, USA.


S-adenosyl-L-methionine (AdoMet)-dependent O-methyltransferases (OMTs) catalyze the transmethylation of a variety of phenolics in bacteria, plants, and humans. To rapidly characterize phenolic OMT activities, we adapted Gibbs' reagent, the dye originally used for detecting phenols, to develop a convenient assay method for measuring the catalytic properties of enzymatic transmethylation of phenolics. We demonstrated that Gibbs' reagent reacted with phenolics yielding distinct absorptive characters that we used to further develop the assay to monitor the reactivities of phenolic OMTs. To validate the method, we identified two caffeate/5-hydroxyferulate 3/5-O-methyltransferases (COMTs) from the black cottonwood, Populus trichocarpa. Together with a few other plant type I OMTs, we demonstrated that our Gibbs' reagent-mediated colorimetric assay could reliably determine the functions and kinetic parameters of phenolic OMTs. Because Gibbs' reagent reacting with different regioselectively modified phenolics displays different colorimetric properties, the assay method can be used to monitor both substrate specificity and the regioselectivity of phenolic OMTs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk