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10-Formyltetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase (EC catalyzes the NADP-dependent conversion of 10-formyltetrahydrofolate to tetrahydrofolate and CO2. Previous studies of 10-formyltetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase purified from rat or pig liver homogenized in phosphate buffers indicated the presence of copurifying 10-formyltetrahydrofolate hydrolase activity, which catalyzes conversion of 10-formyltetrahydrofolate to tetrahydrofolate and formate. We find that the supernatant from rat liver homogenized in mannitol/sucrose/EDTA medium contains essentially all of the total cellular 10-formyltetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase activity, but no measurable hydrolase activity. Treating mannitol/sucrose/EDTA-washed mitochondria with Triton X-100 (0.5%) releases hydrolase activity in soluble form. 10-Formyltetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase purified from the mannitol/sucrose/EDTA supernatant has no 10-formyltetrahydrofolate hydrolase activity. Results of kinetic experiments using the hydrolase-free dehydrogenase give a complex rate equation with respect to (6R,S)-10-formyltetrahydrofolate. Double-reciprocal plots fit a 2/1 hyperbolic function with apparent Km values of 3.9 and 68 microM. Our results indicate that 10-formyltetrahydrofolate hydrolase and dehydrogenase are not alternate catalytic activities of a single protein, but represent two closely related and separately compartmentalized hepatic enzymes.


Journal article


The Journal of biological chemistry

Publication Date





10204 - 10207


Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706.


Liver, Animals, Rats, Amidohydrolases, Indicators and Reagents, Chromatography, Ion Exchange, Kinetics, Oxidoreductases Acting on CH-NH Group Donors