We investigated the cellular responses of the white-rot basidiomycete Phanerochaete chrysosporium against vanillin. Based upon a proteomic survey, it was demonstrated that two flavin-containing monooxygenases (PcFMO1 and PcFMO2) are translationally up-regulated in response to exogenous addition of vanillin. To elucidate their catalytic functions, we cloned cDNAs and heterologously expressed them in Escherichia coli. The recombinant PcFMO1 showed catalytic activities against monocyclic phenols such as phenol, hydroquinone, and 4-chlorophenol. In addition, the product from hydroquinone was identified as 1,2,4-trihydroxybenzene, an important intermediate in a metabolic pathway of aromatic compounds in which the aromatic ring of 1,2,4-trihydroxybenzene can be further cleaved by fungal dioxygenases for mineralization. Thus, the ortho-cleavage pathway of phenolic compounds would presumably be associated with PcFMO1.