The protein encoded by FOLR1 gene is a member of the folate receptor family. Members of this gene family bind folic acid and its reduced derivatives, and transport 5-methyltetrahydrofolate into cells. This gene product is a secreted protein that either anchors to membranes via a glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol linkage or exists in a soluble form. Mutations in this gene have been associated with neurodegeneration due to cerebral folate transport deficiency. Due to the presence of two promoters, multiple transcription start sites, and alternative splicing, multiple transcript variants encoding the same protein have been found for this gene.
Folate receptor α (FRα) is the most important subunit of Folate receptor and the alpha isoform has been shown to be selectively overexpressed in cancer types like breast and ovarian cancer compared to normal breast and ovarian epithelial cells. It was determined that Folate receptor α exhibits a limited expression on the apical surfaces of the epithelial cells of normal lung, breast, thyroid, parathyroid, and kidney tissues. For their uptake of folate, normal cells rely almost exclusively on the reduced folate carrier, whereas many carcinomas and myeloid leukemia cells overexpress a high-affinity FR on their surfaces, perhaps reflecting their increased need for folate to support rapid cell division.
folate receptor 1 (adult)
- Senol S, Ceyran AB, Aydin A, et al. Folate receptor α expression and significance in endometrioid endometrium carcinoma and endometrial hyperplasia. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Pathology. 2015;8(5):5633-5641.