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Chem Biol Interact. 2009 Mar 16;178(1-3):84-93. doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2008.09.007. Epub 2008 Sep 19.

FDH: an aldehyde dehydrogenase fusion enzyme in folate metabolism.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, United States.


FDH (10-formyltetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase, Aldh1L1, EC converts 10-formyltetrahydrofolate (10-formyl-THF) to tetrahydrofolate and CO(2) in a NADP(+)-dependent reaction. It is a tetramer of four identical 902 amino acid residue subunits. The protein subunit is a product of a natural fusion of three unrelated genes and consists of three distinct domains. The N-terminal domain of FDH (residues 1-310) carries the folate binding site and shares sequence homology and structural topology with other enzymes utilizing 10-formyl-THF as a substrate. In vitro it functions as 10-formyl-THF hydrolase, and evidence indicate that this activity is a part of the overall FDH mechanism. The C-terminal domain of FDH (residues 400-902) originated from an aldehyde dehydrogenase-related gene and is capable of oxidation of short-chain aldehydes to corresponding acids. Similar to classes 1 and 2 aldehyde dehydrogenases, this domain exists as a tetramer and defines the oligomeric structure of the full-length enzyme. The two catalytic domains are connected by an intermediate linker (residues 311-399), which is a structural and functional homolog of carrier proteins possessing a 4'-phosphopantetheine prosthetic group. In the FDH mechanism, the intermediate linker domain transfers a formyl, covalently attached to the sulfhydryl group of the phosphopantetheine arm, from the N-terminal domain to the C-terminal domain. The overall FDH mechanism is a coupling of two sequential reactions, a hydrolase and a formyl dehydrogenase, bridged by a substrate transfer step. In this mechanism, one domain provides the folate binding site and a hydrolase catalytic center to remove the formyl group from the folate substrate, another provides a transfer vehicle between catalytic centers and the third one contributes the dehydrogenase machinery further oxidizing formyl to CO(2).

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