In the course of exploring the scope of catalase-related hemoprotein reactivity toward fatty acid hydroperoxides, we detected a novel candidate in the cyanobacterium Nostoc punctiforme PCC 73102. The immediate neighboring upstream gene, annotated as "cyclooxygenase-2," appeared to be a potential fatty acid heme dioxygenase. We cloned both genes and expressed the cDNAs in Escherichia coli, confirming their hemoprotein character. Oxygen electrode recordings demonstrated a rapid (>100 turnovers/s) reaction of the heme dioxygenase with oleic and linoleic acids. HPLC, including chiral column analysis, UV, and GC-MS of the oxygenated products, identified a novel 10S-dioxygenase activity. The catalase-related hemoprotein reacted rapidly and specifically with linoleate 10S-hydroperoxide (>2,500 turnovers/s) with a hydroperoxide lyase activity specific for the 10S-hydroperoxy enantiomer. The products were identified by NMR as (8E)10-oxo-decenoic acid and the C8 fragments, 1-octen-3-ol and 2Z-octen-1-ol, in ∼3:1 ratio. Chiral HPLC analysis established strict enzymatic control in formation of the 3R alcohol configuration (99% enantiomeric excess) and contrasted with racemic 1-octen-3-ol formed in reaction of linoleate 10S-hydroperoxide with hematin or ferrous ions. The Nostoc linoleate 10S-dioxygenase, the sequence of which contains the signature catalytic sequence of cyclooxygenases and fungal linoleate dioxygenases (YRWH), appears to be a heme dioxygenase ancestor. The novel activity of the lyase expands the known reactions of catalase-related proteins and functions in Nostoc in specific transformation of the 10S-hydroperoxylinoleate.