Inhibition of 5,10-methenyltetrahydrofolate synthetase

Cornell University, Graduate Field of Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics (Impact Factor: 3.02). 03/2007; 458(2):194-201. DOI: 10.1016/
Source: PubMed


The interaction of 5-formyltetrahydrofolate analogs with murine methenyltetrahydrofolate synthetase (MTHFS) was investigated using steady-state kinetics, molecular modeling, and site-directed mutagenesis. MTHFS catalyzes the irreversible cyclization of 5-formyltetrahydrofolate to 5,10-methenyltetrahydrofolate. Folate analogs that cannot undergo the rate-limiting step in catalysis were inhibitors of murine MTHFS. 5-Formyltetrahydrohomofolate was an effective inhibitor of murine MTHFS (K(i)=0.7 microM), whereas 5-formyl,10-methyltetrahydrofolate was a weak inhibitor (K(i)=10 microM). The former, but not the latter, was slowly phosphorylated by MTHFS. 5-Formyltetrahydrohomofolate was not a substrate for murine MTHFS, but was metabolized when the MTHFS active site Y151 was mutated to Ala. MTHFS active site residues do not directly facilitate N10 attack on the on the N5-iminium phosphate intermediate, but rather restrict N10 motion around N5. Inhibitors specifically designed to block N10 attack appear to be less effective than the natural 10-formyltetrahydrofolate polyglutamate inhibitors.

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    ABSTRACT: Tetrahydrofolate (THF) polyglutamates are a family of cofactors that carry and chemically activate one-carbon units for biosynthesis. THF-mediated one-carbon metabolism is a metabolic network of interdependent biosynthetic pathways that is compartmentalized in the cytoplasm, mitochondria, and nucleus. One-carbon metabolism in the cytoplasm is required for the synthesis of purines and thymidylate and the remethylation of homocysteine to methionine. One-carbon metabolism in the mitochondria is required for the synthesis of formylated methionyl-tRNA; the catabolism of choline, purines, and histidine; and the interconversion of serine and glycine. Mitochondria are also the primary source of one-carbon units for cytoplasmic metabolism. Increasing evidence indicates that folate-dependent de novo thymidylate biosynthesis occurs in the nucleus of certain cell types. Disruption of folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism is associated with many pathologies and developmental anomalies, yet the biochemical mechanisms and causal metabolic pathways responsible for the initiation and/or progression of folate-associated pathologies have yet to be established. This chapter focuses on our current understanding of mammalian folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism, its cellular compartmentation, and knowledge gaps that limit our understanding of one-carbon metabolism and its regulation.
    Vitamins & Hormones 02/2008; 79:1-44. DOI:10.1016/S0083-6729(08)00401-9 · 2.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 5,10-Methenyltetrahydrofolate synthetase (MTHFS) catalyzes the conversion of 5-formyltetrahydrofolate to 5,10-methenyltetrahydrofolate coupled to the hydrolysis of ATP. A co-crystal structure of MTHFS bound to its substrates has been published (Chen et al., Proteins 56:839-843, 2005) that provides insights into the mechanism of this reaction. To further investigate this mechanism, we have replaced the arginine at position 115 and the lysine at position 120 with alanine (R115A and K120A, respectively). Circular dichroism spectra for both mutants are consistent with folded proteins. R115A shows no activity, suggesting that R115 plays a critical role in the activity of the enzyme. The K120A mutation increases the Michaelis constant (K(m)) for ATP from 76 to 1,200 microM and the K(m) for 5-formylTHF from 2.5 to 7.1 microM. The weaker binding of substrates by K120A may be due to movement of a loop consisting of residues 117 though 120, which makes several hydrogen bonds to ATP and may be held in position by K120.
    The Protein Journal 06/2008; 27(5):303-8. DOI:10.1007/s10930-008-9138-z · 0.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 5,10-Methenyltetrahydrofolate synthetase (MTHFS) regulates the flow of carbon through the one-carbon metabolic network, which supplies essential components for the growth and proliferation of cells. Inhibition of MTHFS in human MCF-7 breast cancer cells has been shown to arrest the growth of cells. Absence of the three-dimensional structure of human MTHFS (hMTHFS) has hampered the rational design and optimization of drug candidates. Here, we report the structures of native hMTHFS, a binary complex of hMTHFS with ADP, hMTHFS bound with the N5-iminium phosphate reaction intermediate, and an enzyme-product complex of hMTHFS. The N5-iminium phosphate captured for the first time in our crystal structure unravels a unique strategy used by hMTHFS for recognition of the substrate and provides structural basis for the regulation of enzyme activity. Binding of N10-substituted folate analogues places Y152 in the middle of the channel connecting ATP binding site with the substrate binding pocket, precluding the positioning of gamma-phosphate for a nucleophilic attack. Using the structures of hMTHFS as a guide, we have probed the role of residues surrounding the active site in catalysis by mutagenesis. The ensemble of hMTHFS structures and the mutagenesis data yield a coherent picture of the MTHFS active site, determinants of substrate specificity, and new insights into the mechanism of inhibition of hMTHFS.
    Cancer Research 10/2009; 69(18):7294-301. DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-1927 · 9.33 Impact Factor
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