Thymidylate synthetase purified to homogeneity from human leukemic cells

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1979 Feb;76(2):750-4. doi: 10.1073/pnas.76.2.750.


Thymidylate synthetase (5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate:dUMP C-methyltransferase, EC from a human leukemic cell line has been purified to homogeneity with one-step affinity column chromatography. The purified enzyme has a specific activity of 3.8 micron/min per mg of protein, which corresponds to a turnover number of 250. These are the highest values reported for a thymidylate synthetase from neoplastic tissue. A ratio of 1.7 mol of 5-fluoro-2'-deoxyuridylate binds per mol of enzyme in the presence of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate. The ternary complex so formed migrates intact on denaturing gels and can be precipitated with trichloroacetic acid; however, urea dissociates the ternary complex. The human thymidylate synthetase is composed of two subunits of 33,000 daltons each. It contains more residues of cysteine, glycine, and arginine and fewer of histidine than the well-studied thymidylate synthetase from Lactobacillus casei.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cations / pharmacology
  • Cell Line
  • Dithiothreitol / pharmacology
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Floxuridine / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Leukemia, Lymphoid / enzymology*
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Methyltransferases / isolation & purification*
  • Molecular Weight
  • Protein Denaturation
  • Thymidylate Synthase / isolation & purification*
  • Thymidylate Synthase / metabolism


  • Cations
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Floxuridine
  • Methyltransferases
  • Thymidylate Synthase
  • Dithiothreitol