Purification and properties of alpha-pinene oxide lyase from Nocardia sp. strain P18.3

J Bacteriol. 1987 Nov;169(11):4980-3. doi: 10.1128/jb.169.11.4980-4983.1987.


alpha-Pinene oxide is an intermediate in the degradation of alpha-pinene by Nocardia sp. strain P18.3 and some Pseudomonas strains. The epoxide is cleaved by a lyase which catalyzes a concerted reaction in which both rings of the bicyclic structure are cleaved with the formation of cis-2-methyl-5-isopropylhexa-2,5-dienal. The enzyme has been purified to homogeneity from Nocardia sp. strain P18.3. It was induced by growth with alpha-pinene and constituted 6 to 7% of the soluble protein of cell extracts. The apparent molecular weight of the native enzyme was 50,000 by ultracentrifugal analysis. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis gave two dissimilar subunits with apparent molecular weights of 17,000 and 22,000. The enzyme was devoid of prosthetic groups, had no cofactor requirement, and had a broad pH activity range, a Km for alpha-pinene oxide of 9 microM, and a turnover number of 15,000. Inhibitors included sulfhydryl reactive compounds, terpene epoxides, and pinane derivatives with substituent groups at carbon 3. A mechanism for the concerted reaction has been proposed in which decyclization is initiated by donation of a proton from the catalytic center to the oxygen of the epoxide with consequent destabilization. In vitro the enzyme was inactivated during catalysis, and a reactive cationic intermediate may be responsible for this phenomenon. The enzyme should be classified as a lyase EC 4.99.-.-.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aldehyde-Lyases / isolation & purification*
  • Aldehyde-Lyases / metabolism
  • Isoelectric Focusing
  • Kinetics
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Molecular Weight
  • Nocardia / enzymology*
  • Terpenes / pharmacology


  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Terpenes
  • Aldehyde-Lyases
  • alpha-pinene oxide lyase