1. An enzyme from the leaves of spinach beet (Beta vulgaris L.) that catalyses the hydroxylation of p-coumaric acid to caffeic acid in the presence of ascorbate has been purified about 1000-fold on a protein basis. 2. It is activated by high concentrations of ammonium sulphate and sodium chloride. 3. The preparation shows both hydroxylase and catechol oxidase activities, in a constant ratio throughout the purification procedure; they are similarly activated by salts. 4. Ascorbate acts as a reductant in quantities equivalent to the caffeic acid produced by hydroxylation. 5. Ascorbate can be replaced by tetrahydrofolic acid, NADH, NADPH or 2-amino-4-hydroxy-6,7-dimethyl-5,6,7,8-tetrahydropteridine, but not by caffeic acid. Among these, the pteridine is the most effective, but the reaction is not inhibited by aminopterin. In experiments with saturating concentrations of NADH and the pteridine, these reductants compete in the reaction and are equivalent on a molar basis. 6. No cofactor has been separated from the enzyme by prolonged dialysis. 7. The relation of the enzyme to other hydroxylases and phenolases is discussed.

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