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The interaction of folic acid derivatives in the methylation of homocysteine

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Abstract

1. The cobalamin-independent synthesis of methionine from serine and homocysteine by ultrasonic extracts of E. coli with tetrahydropteroyltriglutamate as cofactor was inhibited competitively by tetrahydropteroylmonoglutamate and derivatives which were readily converted into this compound. 2. The potency of these inhibitors was directly related to their ability to function as cofactors or substrates in the alternative, cobalamin- dependent mechanism for homocysteine methylation. 3. The cobalamin-dependent and -independent mechanisms of homocysteine methylation were both inhibited by reduced derivatives of aminopterin in a similar manner. 4. It was tentatively concluded that the inhibition was due to a competitive interaction between the folates for N5N10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase.

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