Tetrahydrobiopterin is synthesized from 6-pyruvoyl-tetrahydropterin by the human aldo-keto reductase AKR1 family members

Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
T IinoAkira Hara


Tetrahydrobiopterin (BH(4)) is a cofactor for aromatic amino acid hydroxylases and nitric oxide synthase. The biosynthesis includes two reduction steps catalyzed by sepiapterin reductase. An intermediate, 6-pyruvoyltetrahydropterin (PPH(4)) is reduced to 1(')-oxo-2(')-hydroxypropyl-tetrahydropterin (1(')-OXPH(4)) or 1(')-hydroxy-2(')-oxopropyl-tetrahydropterin (2(')-OXPH(4)), which is further converted to BH(4). However, patients with sepiapterin reductase deficiency show normal urinary excretion of pterins without hyperphenylalaninemia, suggesting that other enzymes catalyze the two reduction steps. In this study, the reductase activities for the tetrahydropterin intermediates were examined using several human recombinant enzymes belonging to the aldo-keto reductase (AKR) family and short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase (SDR) family. In the reduction of PPH(4) by AKR family enzymes, 2(')-OXPH(4) was formed by 3 alpha-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2, whereas 1(')-OXPH(4) was produced by aldose reductase, aldehyde reductase, and 20 alpha-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, and both 1(')-OXPH(4) and 2(')-OXPH(4) were detected as the major and minor products by 3 alpha-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases (types 1 and 3). The activities of a...Continue Reading


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