From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia

10-Formyltetrahydrofolate (10-CHO-THF) is a form of folate that plays a critical role in the metabolism of nucleic acids and amino acids. It is a derivative of tetrahydrofolate (THF), which is the active form of folate in the body. 10-Formyltetrahydrofolate acts as a donor of formyl groups in various biochemical reactions, making it essential for the synthesis of purines, which are necessary for DNA and RNA synthesis, and for the formylation of methionyl-tRNA in protein synthesis.

Biochemical Role[edit | edit source]

10-Formyltetrahydrofolate participates in two critical reactions in cellular metabolism: 1. It serves as a substrate for the enzyme formyltransferase, which catalyzes the transfer of a formyl group to 5,10-methenyltetrahydrofolate, thereby converting it into 10-formyltetrahydrofolate. This reaction is part of the one-carbon metabolism pathway, which is crucial for the synthesis of nucleic acids and the methylation of DNA, proteins, and lipids. 2. It is involved in the formylation of methionyl-tRNA, a process essential for the initiation of protein synthesis in bacteria and eukaryotes. This reaction is catalyzed by the enzyme methionyl-tRNA formyltransferase.

Clinical Significance[edit | edit source]

Deficiencies in folate or disruptions in folate metabolism can lead to various health issues, including neural tube defects in newborns, anemia, and increased risk of certain cancers. 10-Formyltetrahydrofolate, as a key player in folate metabolism, is therefore of significant interest in medical research and clinical nutrition.

Pharmacology[edit | edit source]

Supplementation with folate or its derivatives is a common intervention in conditions of folate deficiency or in cases where there is an increased need for folate, such as pregnancy. Understanding the role of specific folate derivatives like 10-Formyltetrahydrofolate can help in designing more targeted therapeutic strategies, especially in cancer treatment where folate metabolism is often altered.

Sources and Supplementation[edit | edit source]

Folate is obtained from the diet, with rich sources including green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, and beans. However, the bioavailability of dietary folate varies, and the conversion to 10-Formyltetrahydrofolate and other active forms within the body requires a series of enzymatic reactions. Folate supplementation, often in the form of folic acid, is widely recommended for women of childbearing age to prevent neural tube defects.

Research Directions[edit | edit source]

Research into 10-Formyltetrahydrofolate and its role in health and disease is ongoing. Areas of interest include its potential role in cancer therapy, as both a target and a therapeutic agent, and its involvement in metabolic disorders. Understanding the complex interplay between different forms of folate and the enzymes involved in their metabolism could lead to new therapeutic approaches for a variety of conditions.

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References[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD