PROSITE documentation PDOC00595 [for PROSITE entry PS00722]
Formate--tetrahydrofolate ligase signatures


Formate--tetrahydrofolate ligase (EC (formyltetrahydrofolate synthetase) (FTHFS) is one of the enzymes participating in the transfer of one-carbon units, an essential element of various biosynthetic pathways. In many of these processes the transfers of one-carbon units are mediated by the coenzyme tetrahydrofolate (THF). Various reactions generate one-carbon derivatives of THF which can be interconverted between different oxidation states by FTHFS, methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase (EC and methenyltetrahydrofolate cyclohydrolase (EC

In eukaryotes the FTHFS activity is expressed by a multifunctional enzyme, C-1-tetrahydrofolate synthase (C1-THF synthase), which also catalyzes the dehydrogenase and cyclohydrolase activities. Two forms of C1-THF synthases are known [1], one is located in the mitochondrial matrix, while the second one is cytoplasmic. In both forms the FTHFS domain consist of about 600 amino acid residues and is located in the C-terminal section of C1-THF synthase. In prokaryotes FTHFS activity is expressed by a monofunctional homotetrameric enzyme of about 560 amino acid residues [2].

The sequence of FTHFS is highly conserved in all forms of the enzyme. As signature patterns we selected two regions that are almost perfectly conserved. The first one is a glycine-rich segment located in the N-terminal part of FTHFS and which could be part of an ATP-binding domain [2]. The second pattern is located in the central section of FTHFS.

Last update:

April 2006 / Patterns revised.


Technical section

PROSITE methods (with tools and information) covered by this documentation:

FTHFS_2, PS00722; Formate--tetrahydrofolate ligase signature 2  (PATTERN)

FTHFS_1, PS00721; Formate--tetrahydrofolate ligase signature 1  (PATTERN)


1AuthorsShannon K.W. Rabinowitz J.C.
TitleIsolation and characterization of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae MIS1 gene encoding mitochondrial C1-tetrahydrofolate synthase.
SourceJ. Biol. Chem. 263:7717-7725(1988).
PubMed ID2836393

2AuthorsLovell C.R. Przybyla A. Ljungdahl L.G.
TitlePrimary structure of the thermostable formyltetrahydrofolate synthetase from Clostridium thermoaceticum.
SourceBiochemistry 29:5687-5694(1990).
PubMed ID2200509

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