Enzymatic Synthesis of a Vitamin B-9 Derivative for More Cost-Efficient Biochemical Assays

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Jeffrey Pruet


Arts and Sciences



ORCID Identifier(s)

Noah Moriarty (0000-0002-6022-9769)

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-29-2021


Vitamin B-9, and its polyglutamated derivative, is a key component of biochemical assays aimed at testing novel therapeutic agents. Therefore, there is a need to produce this essential molecule in an efficient manner. Due to inherent difficulties in organic synthesis of a Vitamin B-9 derivative, in addition to the significantly high commercial price of this compound, a new synthetic route has been designed based on biocatalysis. This design utilized the enzyme folyl polyglutamate synthase (FPGS) for an enzymatic polyglutamation reaction on the commercially available 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5MeTHF) to make polyglutamated Vitamin B-9. Production of the FPGS enzyme involved protein expression from a designed plasmid originating in b. licheniformis, followed by cell lysis and protein purification. The isolated FPGS enzyme was then tested for its ability to add additional glutamates to 5MeTHF through an ATP-promoted process. The viability of this biochemically produced Vitamin B9 derivative is being assessed using a fluorescence-based assay.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Noah Moriarty is a senior biochemistry major performing research in Dr. Jeffrey Pruet's lab. The project was proposed by previous lab members and Noah has taken over the experimental phase. Noah's future plans include going to graduate school to obtain a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry or Biochemistry.

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