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J Biol Chem. 1985 Feb 25;260(4):2245-52.

C1-Tetrahydrofolate synthase from rabbit liver. Structural and kinetic properties of the enzyme and its two domains.


C1-Tetrahydrofolate synthase is a multifunctional enzyme which catalyzes three reactions in 1-carbon metabolism: 10-formyltetrahydrofolate synthetase; 5,10-methenyltetrahydrofolate cyclohydrolase; 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase. A rapid 1-day purification procedure has been developed which gives 40 mg of pure enzyme from 10 rabbit livers. The 10-formyltetrahydrofolate synthetase activity of this trifunctional enzyme has a specific activity that is 4-fold higher than the enzyme previously purified from rabbit liver. Conditions have been developed for the rapid isolation of a tryptic fragment of the enzyme which contains the methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase and methenyltetrahydrofolate cyclohydrolase activities. This fragment is a monomer exhibiting a subunit and native molecular weight of 36,000 in most buffers. However, in phosphate buffers the native molecular weight suggests that the fragment is a dimer. Conditions are also given whereby chymotryptic digestion allows the simultaneous isolation from the native enzyme of a large fragment containing the 10-formyltetrahydrofolate synthetase activity and a smaller fragment containing the dehydrogenase and cyclohydrolase activities. The large fragment is a dimer with a subunit molecular weight of 66,000. The small fragment retains all of the dehydrogenase and cyclohydrolase activities of the native enzyme. The large fragment is unstable but retains most of the 10-formyltetrahydrofolate synthetase activity. Km values of substrates for the two fragments are the same as the values for the native enzyme. The 10-formyltetrahydrofolate synthetase activity of the native enzyme requires ammonium or potassium ions for expression of full catalytic activity. The effect of these two ions on the catalytic activity of the large chymotryptic fragment is the same as with the native enzyme. We have shown by differential scanning calorimetry that the native enzyme contains two protein domains which show thermal transitions at 47 and 60 degrees C. Evidence is presented that the two domains are related to the two protein fragments generated by proteolysis of the native enzyme. The larger of the two domains contains the active site for the 10-formyltetrahydrofolate synthetase activity while the smaller domain contains the active site which catalyzes the dehydrogenase and cyclohydrolase reactions. Replacement of sodium ion buffers with either ammonium or potassium ions results in an increase in stability of the large domain of the native enzyme. This change in stability is not accompanied by a change in the quaternary structure of the enzyme.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

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