IUBMB Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name: vanillate/3-O-methylgallate O-demethylase

Reaction: (1) vanillate + tetrahydrofolate = protocatechuate + 5-methyltetrahydrofolate
(2) 3-O-methylgallate + tetrahydrofolate = gallate + 5-methyltetrahydrofolate

Glossary: protocatechuate = 3,4-dihydroxybenzoate
vanillate = 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzoate
gallate = 3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoate

Other name(s): ligM (gene name)

Systematic name: vanillate:tetrahydrofolate O-methyltransferase

Comments: The enzyme, characterized from the bacterium Sphingomonas sp. SYK6, is involved in the degradation of lignin. The enzyme has similar activities with vanillate and 3-O-methylgallate.

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


1. Nishikawa, S., Sonoki, T., Kasahara, T., Obi, T., Kubota, S., Kawai, S., Morohoshi, N. and Katayama, Y. Cloning and sequencing of the Sphingomonas (Pseudomonas) paucimobilis gene essential for the O demethylation of vanillate and syringate. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 64 (1998) 836-842. [PMID: 9501423]

2. Masai, E., Sasaki, M., Minakawa, Y., Abe, T., Sonoki, T., Miyauchi, K., Katayama, Y. and Fukuda, M. A novel tetrahydrofolate-dependent O-demethylase gene is essential for growth of Sphingomonas paucimobilis SYK-6 with syringate. J. Bacteriol. 186 (2004) 2757-2765. [PMID: 15090517]

3. Abe, T., Masai, E., Miyauchi, K., Katayama, Y. and Fukuda, M. A tetrahydrofolate-dependent O-demethylase, LigM, is crucial for catabolism of vanillate and syringate in Sphingomonas paucimobilis SYK-6. J. Bacteriol. 187 (2005) 2030-2037. [PMID: 15743951]

[EC created 2017]

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