A novel folic acid analogue, N alpha-(5-deaza-5,6,7,8-tetrahydropteroyl)-L-ornithine, 3, was prepared via a multistep synthetic sequence. The key steps involved the conversion of 5-deazapteroic acid to its N10-formyl derivative followed by catalytic hydrogenation of the pyridine ring and subsequent heating in dilute sodium hydroxide to afford the new 5-deaza-5,6,7,8-tetrahydropteroic acid. After trifluoroacetylation, this compound was coupled to N delta-(tert-butyl-oxycarbonyl)-L-ornithine using conventional peptide bond forming conditions. Deprotection first in base and then in acid gave the title compound. Compound 3 was an effective inhibitor of hog liver folylpolyglutamate synthetase (Kis, estimated = 64 nM), and was shown to retard the formation of polyglutamates of a structurally related folic acid analogue in HCT-8 cells in vitro.