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In the presence of molecular oxygen, this enzyme catalyzes hydroxylation of monophenols to o-diphenols (cresolase activity) and their subsequent oxidation to o-quinones (catecholase activity).
Tyrosinase (EC is a copper-containing monooxygenase catalyzing the o-hydroxylation of monophenols to the corresponding catechols (monophenolase or cresolase activity) and the oxidation of monophenols to the corresponding o-quinones (diphenolase or catecholase activity).
Furthermore, the membrane bound enzyme from the eastern oyster is unable to oxidize most monophenols (cresolase activity) (Table 1).