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A sensitive high-performance liquid chromatographic-fluorometric assay for dihydrofolate reductase in adult rat brain, using 7,8-dihydrobiopterin as substrate

, : A sensitive high-performance liquid chromatographic-fluorometric assay for dihydrofolate reductase in adult rat brain, using 7,8-dihydrobiopterin as substrate. Analytical Biochemistry 140(2): 548-552

A liquid chromatographic-fluorometric assay has been developed to study the role of dihydrofolate reductase in adult rat brain since low levels of the enzyme preclude measurement by current spectrophotometric procedures. This method involves in vitro incubation of desalted, cell-free brain extracts with 7,8-dihydrobiopterin, NADPH, and an NADPH-regenerating system. The tetrahydrobiopterin formed is quantitatively converted to pterin using alkaline iodine oxidation, and the pterin formed is separated by liquid chromatography and detected fluorometrically. The method is linear from 100 fmol to greater than or equal to 1 nmol of product, and the sensitivity is at least 100 times greater than that of existing spectrophotometric assays. Enzyme activity of desalted brain extracts is linear with both time (to 100 min) and protein (from 50 to 620 micrograms). The enzyme shows an absolute requirement for NADPH, does not use NADH, and is completely inhibited by 10 nM methotrexate. The Km of the enzyme for NADPH was found to be 7.5 microM, while the Km for 7,8-dihydrobiopterin was 88 microM. Since brain dihydrobiopterin reductase has the same properties as dihydrofolate reductase, this fluorometric procedure can serve as a sensitive assay for dihydrofolate reductase.


PMID: 6486439

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