IUBMB Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name: dihydrofolate synthase

Reaction: ATP + 7,8-dihydropteroate + L-glutamate = ADP + phosphate + 7,8-dihydropteroylglutamate

For diagram of reaction click here.

Other name(s): dihydrofolate synthetase; 7,8-dihydrofolate synthetase; H2-folate synthetase; 7,8-dihydropteroate:L-glutamate ligase (ADP); dihydropteroate:L-glutamate ligase (ADP-forming); DHFS

Systematic name: 7,8-dihydropteroate:L-glutamate ligase (ADP-forming)

Comments: In some bacteria, a single protein catalyses both this activity and that of EC, tetrahydrofolate synthase [2], the combined activity of which leads to the formation of the coenzyme polyglutamated tetrahydropteroate (H4PteGlun), i.e. various tetrahydrofolates. In contrast, the activities are located on separate proteins in most eukaryotes studied to date [3]. This enzyme is reponsible for attaching the first glutamate residue to dihydropteroate to form dihydrofolate and is present only in those organisms that have the ability to synthesize tetrahydrofolate de novo, e.g. plants, most bacteria, fungi and protozoa [3].

Links to other databases: BRENDA, EXPASY, KEGG, Metacyc, PDB, CAS registry number: 37318-62-0


1. Griffin, M.J. and Brown, G.M. The biosynthesis of folic acid. III. Enzymatic formation of dihydrofolic acid from dihydropteroic acid and of tetrahydropteroylpolyglutamic acid compounds from tetrahydrofolic acid. J. Biol. Chem. 239 (1964) 310-316. [PMID: 14114858]

2. Bognar, A.L., Osborne, C., Shane, B., Singer, S.C. and Ferone, R. Folylpoly-γ-glutamate synthetase-dihydrofolate synthetase. Cloning and high expression of the Escherichia coli folC gene and purification and properties of the gene product. J. Biol. Chem. 260 (1985) 5625-5630. [PMID: 2985605]

3. Ravanel, S., Cherest, H., Jabrin, S., Grunwald, D., Surdin-Kerjan, Y., Douce, R. and Rébeillé, F. Tetrahydrofolate biosynthesis in plants: molecular and functional characterization of dihydrofolate synthetase and three isoforms of folylpolyglutamate synthetase in Arabidopsis thaliana. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 98 (2001) 15360-15365. [PMID: 11752472]

4. Cherest, H., Thomas, D. and Surdin-Kerjan, Y. Polyglutamylation of folate coenzymes is necessary for methionine biosynthesis and maintenance of intact mitochondrial genome in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. J. Biol. Chem. 275 (2000) 14056-14063. [PMID: 10799479]

5. Cossins, E.A. and Chen, L. Folates and one-carbon metabolism in plants and fungi. Phytochemistry 45 (1997) 437-452. [PMID: 9190084]

[EC created 1972, modified 2005]

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