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Anal Biochem. 1984 Nov 1;142(2):529-35.

High-performance liquid chromatographic determination of the distribution of naturally occurring folic acid derivatives in rat liver.


Procedures which allow extraction and quantitation of labile, reduced folic acid derivatives in rat liver have been developed. These procedures entail extraction of hepatic folates at 100 degrees C in 2% (w/v) sodium ascorbate, 0.2 M 2-mercaptoethanol, pH 7.85. The extract was treated with conjugase to hydrolyze folate polyglutamates and reverse-phase, ion-pair high-performance liquid chromatography was used to separate the resulting monoglutamates which were measured by microbiological assay using Lactobacillus casei. Experiments with HPLC-purified standard derivatives, so treated, showed excellent stability of tetrahydropteroylglutamic acid (H4PteGlu), 10-formyl-H4PteGlu, 5-formyl-H4PteGlu, 5-methyl-H4PteGlu, and pteroylglutamic acid (PteGlu). Under these conditions, approximately 56% of H2PteGlu was recovered unchanged while about 27% was converted to PteGlu; 5,10-methylene-H4PteGlu was quantitatively recovered as H4PteGlu. These procedures were applied to the task of measuring the distribution of naturally occurring folate cofactors in rat liver. These results indicated that rat liver folates have the following compositions: 5-methyl-H4PteGlu, 37.2%; H4PteGlu, 32.7%; 10-formyl-H4PteGlu, 22.6%; and 5-formyl-H4PteGlu, 7.7%. Experiments with [3H]PteGlu injection showed that all hepatic folates had the same specific radioactivity as determined by radioassay and L. casei assay, indicating that L. casei exhibited the same growth response to all the folates detected in rat liver.

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