Cloning, expression, and purification of 5,10-methenyltetrahydrofolate synthetase from Mus musculus. Academic Article uri icon


  • Folate metabolism is necessary for the biosyntheses of purine nucleotides and thymidylate and for the synthesis of S-adenosylmethionine, a cofactor required for cellular methylation reactions and a precursor of spermidine and spermine syntheses. Disruption of folate metabolism is associated with several pathologies and developmental anomalies including cancer and neural tube defects. The enzyme 5,10-methenyltetrahydrofolate synthetase (MTHFS, EC catalyzes the ATP-dependent conversion of 5-formyltetrahydrofolate to 5,10-methenyltetrahydrofolate, and has been shown to affect intracellular folate concentrations by accelerating folate degradation. Mammalian MTHFS proteins described to date are not stable and no recombinant mammalian MTHFS protein has been successfully expressed in Escherichia coli. The three-dimensional structure of MTHFS has not been solved. The cDNA coding for Mus musculus MTHFS was isolated and expressed in E. coli with a hexa-histidine tag. Milligram quantities of recombinant mouse MTHFS were purified using metal affinity chromatography and the protein was stabilized with Tween 20. Mouse MTHFS has a molecular mass of 23kDa and is 84% identical in amino acid sequence to the human enzyme. Activity assays confirmed the functionality of the recombinant protein, with Km =5 microM for (6S)-5-formyltetrahydrofolate and Km=769 microM for Mg-ATP. This is the first example of a mammalian form of MTHFS expressed in E. coli that yielded sufficient quantities of stable purified protein to allow for detailed characterization of its three-dimensional structure and kinetic properties.

published proceedings

  • Protein Expr Purif

author list (cited authors)

  • Anguera, M. C., Liu, X., & Stover, P. J.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Anguera, Montserrat C||Liu, Xiaowen||Stover, Patrick J

publication date

  • June 2004