|Superclasses:||a cofactor → a prosthetic group|
|an organic heterocyclic compound → an organic heterobicyclic compound → a pteridine → a pterin → a pteroate|
|an organic heterocyclic compound → an organonitrogen heterocyclic compound → a pteridine → a pterin → a pteroate|
While folic acid is the name given to a particular compound (see folate), it is also the name given to a group of compounds based on the pteroate skeleton and conjugated with one or more molecules of L-glutamate. Many of these compounds are also known as vitamin B9.
Folic acid on its own is not biologically active, and needs to be converted to tetrahydrofolate and other active derivatives (via dihydrofolate). The biologically active forms are essential cofactors that facilitate the transfer of one-carbon units from donor molecules into important biosynthetic pathways leading to methionine, purine, and pyrimidine biosynthesis. Folates also mediate the interconversion of serine and glycine, play a role in histidine catabolism [Lucock00], and in plants are also involved in photorespiration, amino acid metabolism and chloroplastic protein biosynthesis [Hanson02, Jabrin03].
Jabrin03: Jabrin S, Ravanel S, Gambonnet B, Douce R, Rebeille F (2003). "One-carbon metabolism in plants. Regulation of tetrahydrofolate synthesis during germination and seedling development." Plant Physiol 131(3);1431-9. PMID: 12644692
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