Folates are essential cofactors for various metabolic reactions involving one-carbon units. Mammals obtain folates from their diet, whereas most microorganisms synthesize folates de novo. Therefore, the folate biosynthetic pathway is a potential target for antimicrobial agents.
Dihydroneopterin aldolase/dihydroneopterin triphosphate 2'-epimerase, a bifunctional protein, participates in folate biosynthesis. Dihydroneopterin aldolase (DHNA) catalyzes the conversion of 7,8-dihydroneopterin (DHNP) to 6-hydroxymethyl-7,8-dihydropterin (HP) with the generation of glycoaldehyde (GA). The second protein biological activity is the epimerization of carbon 2' of 7,8-dihydroneopterin (DHNP) and 7,8-dihydromonapterin (DHMP).