Phenoxazinone synthase: what's in a name?

Trends Biotechnol. 2009 Apr;27(4):248-58. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2009.01.001. Epub 2009 Mar 4.


The name phenoxazinone synthase (PHS, 2-aminophenol:oxygen oxidoreductase, EC is used for the enzyme catalysing the oxidative coupling of substituted o-aminophenols to produce phenoxazinones. This review reveals that the traditional classification of PHS conflicts with recent sequence-based information that shows its relationship with two distinct copper protein groups. Different PHS roles, namely spore pigmentation in Streptomyces antibioticus (phsA) and biosynthesis of the antibiotic grixazone in Streptomyces griseus subsp. griseus (GriF), indicate an example of convergent evolution. Here, we review the classification, distribution and roles of PHSs, comparing them with copper oxidases at genetic and structural levels and exploring their potential application in the production of new antibiotics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Oxidoreductases* / chemistry
  • Oxidoreductases* / classification
  • Oxidoreductases* / metabolism
  • Oxidoreductases* / physiology
  • Streptomyces antibioticus / enzymology
  • Streptomyces griseus / enzymology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Oxidoreductases
  • 2-aminophenol oxidase
  • copper oxidase