cDNA cloning of a monoterpene synthase from Perilla frutescens whose steam-distilled oil contains 92.9% perillaketone, was performed by the PCR method using primers designed based on limonene synthase. The full-length nucleotide sequence of this cDNA consisted of 1978 bp including a 1827-bp translational region encoding a deduced protein of 608 amino acids, which was similar to that of limonene synthase from P. frutescens (85% identity). Functional expression of this clone in Escherichia coli yielded an active monoterpene synthase enzyme, which converted geranyl diphosphate into 53.8% myrcene, 20.9% sabinene, 19.8% linalool and 5.5% limonene. As for the extraction of reaction products, we performed SPME (solid phase micro extraction) as well as conventional solvent extraction, and compared these two extraction methods.
2004 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan