The Enzyme Database

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Accepted name: (S)-norcoclaurine synthase
Reaction: 4-hydroxyphenylacetaldehyde + dopamine = (S)-norcoclaurine + H2O
For diagram of reaction, click here
Glossary: dopamine = 4-(2-aminoethyl)benzene-1,2-diol
Other name(s): (S)-norlaudanosoline synthase; 4-hydroxyphenylacetaldehyde hydro-lyase (adding dopamine)
Systematic name: 4-hydroxyphenylacetaldehyde hydro-lyase [adding dopamine; (S)-norcoclaurine-forming]
Comments: The reaction makes a six-membered ring by forming a bond between C-6 of the 3,4-dihydroxyphenyl group of the dopamine and C-1 of the aldehyde in the imine formed between the substrates. The product is the precursor of the benzylisoquinoline alkaloids in plants. The enzyme, formerly known as (S)-norlaudanosoline synthase, will also catalyse the reaction of 4-(2-aminoethyl)benzene-1,2-diol + (3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)acetaldehyde to form (S)-norlaudanosoline, but this alkaloid has not been found to occur in plants.
Links to other databases: BRENDA, EXPASY, KEGG, MetaCyc, PDB, CAS registry number: 79122-01-3
1.  Stadler, R., Zenk, M.H. A revision of the generally accepted pathway for the biosynthesis of the benzyltetrahydroisoquinoline reticuline. Liebigs Ann. Chem. (1990) 555–562.
2.  Stadler, R., Kutchan, T.M., Zenk, M.H. (S)-Norcoclaurine is the central intermediate in benzylisoquinoline alkaloid biosynthesis. Phytochemistry 28 (1989) 1083–1086.
3.  Samanani, N. and Facchini, P.J. Purification and characterization of norcoclaurine synthase. The first committed enzyme in benzylisoquinoline alkaloid biosynthesis in plants. J. Biol. Chem. 277 (2002) 33878–33883. [DOI] [PMID: 12107162]
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