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CAS number 452-86-8
PubChem 9958
ChemSpider 9564
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula C7H8O2
Molar mass 124.13 g/mol
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
Infobox references

4-Methylcatechol is a chemical compound. It is a component of castoreum, the exudate from the castor sacs of the mature beaver.[1]


The enzyme cis-1,2-dihydroxy-4-methylcyclohexa-3,5-diene-1-carboxylate dehydrogenase uses cis-1,2-dihydroxy-4-methylcyclohexa-3,5-diene-1-carboxylate and NAD(P)+ to produce 4-methylcatechol, NADH, NADPH and CO2.[2]

Related compounds[edit]

Members of the monocot subfamily Amaryllidoideae present a unique type of alkaloids, the norbelladine alkaloids, which are 4-methylcatechol derivatives combined with tyrosine. They are responsible for the poisonous properties of a number of the species. Over 200 different chemical structures of these compounds are known, of which 79 or more are known from Narcissus alone.[3]


The brand of low-temperature coke used as a smokeless fuel Coalite obtains homocatechol from ammoniacal liquor by solvent extraction, distillation and crystallisation.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pheromonal activity of single castoreum constituents in beaver,Castor canadensis., Müller-Schwarze, D and Houlihan, P.W., Journal of Chemical Ecology, April 1991, Volume 17, Number 4, Springer Netherlands, doi:10.1007/BF00994195
  2. ^ Whited GM, McCombie WR, Kwart LD, Gibson DT (1986). "Identification of cis-diols as intermediates in the oxidation of aromatic acids by a strain of Pseudomonas putida that contains a TOL plasmid". J. Bacteriol. 166 (3): 1028–39. PMC 215228. PMID 3711022. 
  3. ^ Martin, S.F. 1987. The Amaryllidaceae Alkaloids. In.: Arnold Brossi (ed.) The Alkaloids, Chapter 3. Academic Press.