IUBMB Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name: benzoate O-methyltransferase

Reaction: S-adenosyl-L-methionine + benzoate = S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine + methyl benzoate

Other name(s): BAMT; S-adenosyl-L-methionine:benzoic acid carboxyl methyltransferase

Systematic name: S-adenosyl-L-methionine:benzoate O-methyltransferase

Comments: While the enzyme from the plant Zea mays is specific for benzoate [6], the enzymes from Arabidopsis species and Clarkia breweri also catalyse the reaction of EC, salicylate 1-O-methyltransferase [1,5]. In snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) two isoforms are found, one specific for benzoate [2,3] and one that is also active towards salicylate [4]. The volatile product is an important scent compound in some flowering species [2].

Links to other databases: BRENDA, EXPASY, KEGG Metacyc, CAS registry number:


1. Ross, J.R., Nam, K.H., D'Auria, J.C. and Pichersky, E. S-adenosyl-L-methionine:salicylic acid carboxyl methyltransferase, an enzyme involved in floral scent production and plant defense, represents a new class of plant methyltransferases. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 367 (1999) 9-16. [PMID: 10375393]

2. Dudareva, N., Murfitt, L.M., Mann, C.J., Gorenstein, N., Kolosova, N., Kish, C.M., Bonham, C. and Wood, K. Developmental regulation of methyl benzoate biosynthesis and emission in snapdragon flowers. Plant Cell 12 (2000) 949-961. [PMID: 10852939]

3. Murfitt, L.M., Kolosova, N., Mann, C.J. and Dudareva, N. Purification and characterization of S-adenosyl-L-methionine:benzoic acid carboxyl methyltransferase, the enzyme responsible for biosynthesis of the volatile ester methyl benzoate in flowers of Antirrhinum majus. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 382 (2000) 145-151. [PMID: 11051108]

4. Negre, F., Kolosova, N., Knoll, J., Kish, C.M. and Dudareva, N. Novel S-adenosyl-L-methionine:salicylic acid carboxyl methyltransferase, an enzyme responsible for biosynthesis of methyl salicylate and methyl benzoate, is not involved in floral scent production in snapdragon flowers. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 406 (2002) 261-270. [PMID: 12361714]

5. Chen, F., D'Auria, J.C., Tholl, D., Ross, J.R., Gershenzon, J., Noel, J.P. and Pichersky, E. An Arabidopsis thaliana gene for methylsalicylate biosynthesis, identified by a biochemical genomics approach, has a role in defense. Plant J. 36 (2003) 577-588. [PMID: 14617060]

6. Köllner, T.G., Lenk, C., Zhao, N., Seidl-Adams, I., Gershenzon, J., Chen, F. and Degenhardt, J. Herbivore-induced SABATH methyltransferases of maize that methylate anthranilic acid using s-adenosyl-L-methionine. Plant Physiol. 153 (2010) 1795-1807. [PMID: 20519632]

[EC created 2013]

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