In Perilla frutescens, there are two varietal forms of anthocyanin accumulation, i.e. red and green forms. The cDNA clones encoding flavone synthase II (FSII) and flavonoid 3'-hydroxylase (F3'H), two cytochrome P450s that are involved in the biosynthesis of flavones and anthocyanins, were isolated from P. frutescens. The FSII cDNA encoded a 57.1 kDa protein designated as CYP93B6, and the F3'H cDNA encoded 57.5 kDa protein designated as CYP75B4. Recombinant CYP93B6 expressed in yeast converted flavanones to flavones with K(m) values of 8.8-11.9 microM. Recombinant CYP75B4 catalyzed 3'-hydroxylation of flavanones to the corresponding compounds with K(m) values of 18-20 microM. The CYP93B6 transcript accumulated to an equal level in leaves of both red and green forms of P. frutescens, in agreement with the accumulation pattern of flavones in the leaves. However, the CYP75B4 transcript was predominantly expressed in the red form of P. frutescens, and its expression was induced by light in conjunction with other transcripts of biosynthetic enzymes of anthocyanin. These results indicate that gene expression of a set of anthocyanin biosynthetic enzymes including F3'H is regulated coordinately only in the red form of P. frutescens but not in the green form, whilst FSII gene expression is controlled in a similar manner in red and green forms of P. frutescens.