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Biofactors. 2004;21(1-4):79-82.

Characterization of gamma-terpinene synthase from Citrus unshiu (Satsuma mandarin).

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Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Shizuoka, 52-1 Yada, Shizuoka 422-8526, Japan.


Gamma-terpinene is a monoterpene and a major component of essential oils made from citrus fruits and shows strong antioxidant activity in various assay systems. Plant gamma-terpinene synthase is a member of the monoterpene cyclase family, which produces a specific monoterpene through cyclization of geranyl diphosphate (GPP), but the monoterpene cyclases have not been fully characterized. It is necessary to prepare large amounts of gamma-terpinene synthase from Citrus unshiu (Satsuma mandarin) for the characterization, on this purpose we expressed the protein in Escherichia coli (E. coli) cells. As most monoterpene synthases have plastid-targeting signals, a gene lacking these signals was prepared and functionally expressed in E. coli cells harboring extra copies of the argU gene. The purified enzyme was incubated with GPP and the main product was confirmed to be gamma-terpinene by GC/MS.

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