Medical Dictionary

dihydrofolate reductase

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noun di·hy·dro·fo·late reductase \-ˈfō-ˌlāt-\

Medical Definition of dihydrofolate reductase

  1. :  an enzyme that catalyzes the reduction of a folate which has one of its rings with two double bonds and two attached hydrogen atoms into the dihydro form which differs only in having one double bond and four hydrogen atoms in the same ring Dihydrofolate reductase plays an important role in DNA synthesis and is targeted by some anticancer and antimicrobial drugs (such as methotrexate and trimethropin) in order to inhibit its positive effect on cell growth and reproduction. … an enzyme called dihydrofolate reductase or DHFR, a catalyst that is essential to nucleic acid synthesis and cell growth.—Warren Froelich, The San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Oct. 1985—abbreviation DHFR


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