Characteristics of thymidylate synthase purified from a human colon adenocarcinoma

Saeed Radparvar, Peter J. Houghton, Janet A. Houghton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Thymidylate synthase has been purified >4000-fold from a human colon adenocarcinoma maintained as a xenograft in immune-deprived mice. In this disease, the enzyme is an important target for the cytotoxic action of 5-fluorouracil, which is influenced by the reduced folate substrate CH2-H4PteGlu. Due to the importance of this interaction, and the existence in cells of folate species as polyglutamyl forms, the interaction of folylpolyglutamates with thymidylate synthase was examined. Polyglutamates of PteGlu were used as inhibitors, and the interaction of CH2-H4PteGlu polyglutamates as substrates or in an inhibitory ternary complex were also examined. Using PteGlu1-7, Ki values were determined. A maximal 125-fold decrease in Ki was observed between PteGlui and PteGlu4; further addition of up to three glutamyl residues did not result in an additional decrease in Ki. Despite the increased binding affinity of folylpolyglutamates for this enzyme, no change in the Km values for either dUMP (3.6 μm) or CH2-H4PteGlu (4.3 μm) were detected when polyglutamates of [6R]CH2-H4PteGlu were used as substrates. Product inhibition studies demonstrated competitive inhibition between dTMP and dUMP in the presence of CH2-H4PteGlu5. In addition, CH2H4PteGlu4 stabilized an inhibitory ternary complex formed between FdUMP, thymidylate synthase, and CH2-H4PteGlu4. Thus the data do not support a change in the order of substrate binding and product release upon polyglutamylation of CH2-H4PteGlu reported for non-human mammalian enzyme. This is the first study to characterize kinetically thymidylate synthase from a human colon adenocarcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)342-350
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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