Regulation of folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism by 10-formyltetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase. Academic Article uri icon


  • 10-Formyltetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase (FDH) catalyzes the NADP(+)-dependent conversion of 10-formyltetrahydrofolate to CO(2) and tetrahydrofolate (THF) and is an abundant high affinity folate-binding protein. Although several activities have been ascribed to FDH, its metabolic role in folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism is not well understood. FDH has been proposed to: 1) inhibit purine biosynthesis by depleting 10-formyl-THF pools, 2) maintain cellular folate concentrations by sequestering THF, 3) deplete the supply of folate-activated one-carbon units, and 4) stimulate the generation of THF-activated one-carbon unit synthesis by channeling folate cofactors to other folate-dependent enzymes. The metabolic functions of FDH were investigated in neuroblastoma, which do not contain detectable levels of FDH. Both low and high FDH expression reduced total cellular folate concentrations by 60%, elevated rates of folate catabolism, and depleted cellular 5-methyl-THF and S-adenosylmethionine levels. Low FDH expression increased the formyl-THF/THF ratio nearly 10-fold, whereas THF accounted for nearly 50% of total folate in neuroblastoma with high FDH expression. FDH expression did not affect the enrichment of exogenous formate into methionine, serine, or purines and did not suppress de novo purine nucleotide biosynthesis. We conclude that low FDH expression facilitates the incorporation of one-carbon units into the one-carbon pool, whereas high levels of FDH expression deplete the folate-activated one-carbon pool by catalyzing the conversion of 10-formyl-THF to THF. Furthermore, FDH does not increase cellular folate concentrations by sequestering THF in neuroblastoma nor does it inhibit or regulate de novo purine biosynthesis. FDH expression does deplete cellular 5-methyl-THF and S-adenosylmethionine levels indicating that FDH impairs the folate-dependent homocysteine remethylation cycle.

published proceedings

  • J Biol Chem

citation count

  • 73

complete list of authors

  • Anguera, Montserrat C||Field, Martha S||Perry, Cheryll||Ghandour, Haifa||Chiang, En-Pei||Selhub, Jacob||Shane, Barry||Stover, Patrick J

publication date

  • April 2006