Knocking down 10-formyltetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase increased oxidative stress and impeded zebrafish embryogenesis by obstructing morphogenetic movement

Wen Ni Chang, Gang Hui Lee, Tseng Ting Kao, Cha Ying Lin, Tsun Hsien Hsiao, Jen Ning Tsai, Bing Hung Chen, Yau Hung Chen, Hsin Ru Wu, Huai Jen Tsai, Tzu Fun Fu

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Background Folate is an essential nutrient for cell survival and embryogenesis. 10-Formyltetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase (FDH) is the most abundant folate enzyme in folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism. 10-Formyltetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase converts 10-formyltetrahydrofolate to tetrahydrofolate and CO2, the only pathway responsible for formate oxidation in methanol intoxication. 10-Formyltetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase has been considered a potential chemotherapeutic target because it was down-regulated in cancer cells. However, the normal physiological significance of 10-Formyltetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase is not completely understood, hampering the development of therapeutic drug/regimen targeting 10-Formyltetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase. Methods 10-Formyltetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase expression in zebrafish embryos was knocked-down using morpholino oligonucleotides. The morphological and biochemical characteristics of fdh morphants were examined using specific dye staining and whole-mount in-situ hybridization. Embryonic folate contents were determined by HPLC. Results The expression of 10-formyltetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase was consistent in whole embryos during early embryogenesis and became tissue-specific in later stages. Knocking-down fdh impeded morphogenetic movement and caused incorrect cardiac positioning, defective hematopoiesis, notochordmalformation and ultimate death of morphants. Obstructed F-actin polymerization and delayed epiboly were observed in fdh morphants. These abnormalities were reversed either by adding tetrahydrofolate or antioxidant or by co-injecting the mRNA encoding 10-formyltetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase N-terminal domain, supporting the anti-oxidative activity of 10-formyltetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase and the in vivo function of tetrahydrofolate conservation for 10-formyltetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase N-terminal domain. Conclusions 10-Formyltetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase functioned in conserving the unstable tetrahydrofolate and contributing to the intracellular anti-oxidative capacity of embryos, which was crucial in promoting proper cell migration during embryogenesis. General significance These newly reported tetrahydrofolate conserving and anti-oxidative activities of 10-formyltetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase shall be important for unraveling 10-formyltetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase biological significance and the drug development targeting 10-formyltetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2340-2350
Number of pages11
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jul

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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