5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5MTHF) absorbs UV radiation and has an absorption coefficient of 24 250 ± 1170 M−1 cm−1 at 290 nm. It has a weak fluorescence emission in the wavelength region around 360 nm. Our data demonstrated induction of 5-methyldihydrofolate by exposure to UVB and, after continues irradiation, p-aminobenzoyl-l-glutamic acid was found. The photodegradation of 5MTHF follows a first order kinetic with a degradation rate constant of 9.2 × 10−3 min−1 under our conditions (fluence rate of 2.15 mW cm−2, exposure wavelengths from 280 to 350 nm). Our results indicate that a direct degradation of 5MTHF by UV exposure in humans in vivo is rather unlikely. 5MTHF mainly absorbs, and is degraded by, UVB and UVC, radiation that does not penetrate the earth's atmosphere and the human skin well.
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Vol. 82 • No. 6