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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995 Oct 24;92(22):10413-7.

Benzoic acid 2-hydroxylase, a soluble oxygenase from tobacco, catalyzes salicylic acid biosynthesis.

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AgBiotech, Center for Agricultural Molecular Biology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903-0231, USA.


Benzoic acid 2-hydroxylase (BA2H) catalyzes the biosynthesis of salicylic acid from benzoic acid. The enzyme has been partially purified and characterized as a soluble protein of 160 kDa. High-efficiency in vivo labeling of salicylic acid with 18O2 suggested that BA2H is an oxygenase that specifically hydroxylates the ortho position of benzoic acid. The enzyme was strongly induced by either tobacco mosaic virus inoculation or benzoic acid infiltration of tobacco leaves and it was inhibited by CO and other inhibitors of cytochrome P450 hydroxylases. The BA2H activity was immunodepleted by antibodies raised against SU2, a soluble cytochrome P450 from Streptomyces griseolus. The anti-SU2 antibodies immunoprecipitated a radiolabeled polypeptide of around 160 kDa from the soluble protein extracts of L-[35S]-methionine-fed tobacco leaves. Purified BA2H showed CO-difference spectra with a maximum at 457 nm. These data suggest that BA2H belongs to a novel class of soluble, high molecular weight cytochrome P450 enzymes.

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