MetaCyc Compound Class: a folate

Superclasses: a cofactora prosthetic group
a vitamin
an organic heterocyclic compoundan organic heterobicyclic compounda pteridinea pterina pteroate
an organic heterocyclic compoundan organonitrogen heterocyclic compounda pteridinea pterina 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].

Child Classes: a 7,8-dihydrofolate (4), a tetrahydrofolate (22), methanopterin and derivatives (9)


Unification Links: ChEBI:37445, Wikipedia:Folate

Revised 08-Nov-2010 by Caspi R, SRI International


Hanson02: Hanson AD, Gregory JF (2002). "Synthesis and turnover of folates in plants." Curr Opin Plant Biol 5(3);244-9. PMID: 11960743

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

Lucock00: Lucock M (2000). "Folic acid: nutritional biochemistry, molecular biology, and role in disease processes." Mol Genet Metab 71(1-2);121-38. PMID: 11001804

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Please cite the following article in publications resulting from the use of MetaCyc: Caspi et al, Nucleic Acids Research 42:D459-D471 2014
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