, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 665-670
Date: 23 Nov 2011

Update and new concepts in vitamin responsive disorders of folate transport and metabolism

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Abstract

Derivatives of folic acid are involved in transfer of one-carbon units in cellular metabolism, playing a role in synthesis of purines and thymidylate and in the remethylation of homocysteine to form methionine. Five inborn errors affecting folate transport and metabolism have been well studied: hereditary folate malabsorption, caused by mutations in the gene encoding the proton-coupled folate transporter (SLC46A1); glutamate formiminotransferase deficiency, caused by mutations in the FTCD gene; methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency, caused by mutations in the MTHFR gene; and functional methionine synthase deficiency, either as the result of mutations affecting methionine synthase itself (cblG, caused by mutations in the MTR gene) or affecting the accessory protein methionine synthase reductase (cblE, caused by mutations in the MTRR gene). Recently additional inborn errors have been identified. Cerebral folate deficiency is a clinically heterogeneous disorder, which in a few families is caused by mutations in the FOLR1 gene. Dihydrofolate reductase deficiency is characterized by megaloblastic anemia and cerebral folate deficiency, with variable neurological findings. It is caused by mutations in the DHFR gene. Deficiency in the trifunctional enzyme containing methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase, methenyltetrahydrofolate cyclohydrolase and formyltetrahydrofolate synthetase activities, has been identified in a single patient with megaloblastic anemia, atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome and severe combined immune deficiency. It is caused by mutations in the MTHFD1 gene.

Communicated by: Jutta Gaertner
References to electronic databases: Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man http://omim.org
Competing interests: None declared.
David Watkins and David S. Rosenblatt contributed to planning and writing of this review.
Presented at Annual Symposium of the SSIEM, Geneva, Switzerland, August 30 - September 2, 2011