IUBMB Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name: (+)-α-pinene synthase

Reaction: geranyl diphosphate = (+)-α-pinene + diphosphate

For diagram of reaction click here.

Glossary: (+)-α-pinene = (1R,5R)-2,6,6-trimethylbicyclo[3.1.1]hept-2-ene

Other name(s): (+)-α-pinene cyclase; cyclase I

Systematic name: geranyl-diphosphate diphosphate-lyase [cyclizing, (+)-α-pinene-forming]

Comments: Cyclase I of Salvia officinalis (sage) gives about equal parts (+)-α-pinene and (+)-camphene, whereas cyclase III gives about equal parts of (+)-α-pinene and (+)-β-pinene. (3R)-Linalyl diphosphate can also be used by the enzyme in preference to (3S)-linalyl diphosphate. The 4-pro-R-hydrogen of geranyl diphosphate is lost. Requires Mg2+ (preferred to Mn2+) [1-4]. With synthase II of Pinus taeda (loblolly pine) (+)-α-pinene was the only product [5,6]. Requires Mn2+ (preferred to Mg2+). See also EC, (+)-β-pinene synthase, and EC, (+)-camphene synthase.

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


1. Gambliel, H. and Croteau, R. Pinene cyclases I and II. Two enzymes from sage (Salvia officinalis) which catalyze stereospecific cyclizations of geranyl pyrophosphate to monoterpene olefins of opposite configuration. J. Biol. Chem. 259 (1984) 740-748. [PMID: 6693393]

2. Croteau, R., Satterwhite, D.M., Cane, D.E. and Chang, C.C. Biosynthesis of monoterpenes. Enantioselectivity in the enzymatic cyclization of (+)- and (–)-linalyl pyrophosphate to (+)- and (–)-pinene and (+)- and (–)-camphene. J. Biol. Chem. 263 (1988) 10063-10071. [PMID: 3392006]

3. Wagschal, K.C., Pyun, H.J., Coates, R.M. and Croteau, R. Monoterpene biosynthesis: isotope effects associated with bicyclic olefin formation catalyzed by pinene synthases from sage (Salvia officinalis). Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 308 (1994) 477-487. [PMID: 8109978]

4. Pyun, H.J., Wagschal, K.C., Jung, D.I., Coates, R.M. and Croteau, R. Stereochemistry of the proton elimination in the formation of (+)- and (–)-α-pinene by monoterpene cyclases from sage (Salvia officinalis). Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 308 (1994) 488-496. [PMID: 8109979]

5. Phillips, M.A., Savage, T.J. and Croteau, R. Monoterpene synthases of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) produce pinene isomers and enantiomers. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 372 (1999) 197-204. [PMID: 10562434]

6. Phillips, M.A., Wildung, M.R., Williams, D.C., Hyatt, D.C. and Croteau, R. cDNA isolation, functional expression, and characterization of (+)-α-pinene synthase and (–)-α-pinene synthase from loblolly pine (Pinus taeda): stereocontrol in pinene biosynthesis. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 411 (2003) 267-276. [PMID: 12623076]

[EC created 2012]

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