IUBMB Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name: S-(hydroxymethyl)glutathione dehydrogenase

Reaction: S-(hydroxymethyl)glutathione + NAD(P)+ = S-formylglutathione + NAD(P)H + H+

Other name(s): NAD-linked formaldehyde dehydrogenase (incorrect); formaldehyde dehydrogenase (incorrect); formic dehydrogenase (incorrect); class III alcohol dehydrogenase; ADH3; χ-ADH; FDH (incorrect); formaldehyde dehydrogenase (glutathione) (incorrect); GS-FDH (incorrect); glutathione-dependent formaldehyde dehydrogenase (incorrect); GD-FALDH; NAD- and glutathione-dependent formaldehyde dehydrogenase; NAD-dependent formaldehyde dehydrogenase (incorrect)

Systematic name: S-(hydroxymethyl)glutathione:NAD+ oxidoreductase

Comments: The substrate, S-(hydroxymethyl)glutathione, forms spontaneously from glutathione and formaldehyde; its rate of formation is increased in some bacteria by the presence of EC, S-(hydroxymethyl)glutathione synthase. This enzyme forms part of the pathway that detoxifies formaldehyde, since the product is hydrolysed by EC, S-formylglutathione hydrolase. The human enzyme belongs to the family of zinc-dependent alcohol dehydrogenases. Also specifically reduces S-nitrosylglutathione.

Links to other databases: BRENDA, EAWAG-BBD, EXPASY, KEGG, Metacyc, PDB, CAS registry number:


1. Jakoby, W.B. Aldehyde dehydrogenases. In: Boyer, P.D., Lardy, H. and Myrbäck, K. (Eds), The Enzymes, 2nd ed, vol. 7, Academic Press, New York, pp. 203-221.

2. Rose, Z.B. and Racker, E. Formaldehyde dehydrogenase. Methods Enzymol. 9 (1966) 357-360.

3. Liu, L., Hausladen, A., Zeng, M., Que, L., Heitman, J. and Stamler, J.S. A metabolic enzyme for S-nitrosothiol conserved from bacteria to humans. Nature 410 (2001) 490-494. [PMID: 11260719]

4. Sanghani, P.C., Stone, C.L., Ray, B.D., Pindel, E.V., Hurley, T.D. and Bosron, W.F. Kinetic mechanism of human glutathione-dependent formaldehyde dehydrogenase. Biochemistry 39 (2000) 10720-10729. [PMID: 10978156]

5. van Ophem, P.W. and Duine, J.A. NAD- and co-substrate (GSH or factor)-dependent formaldehyde dehydrogenases from methylotrophic microorganisms act as a class III alcohol dehydrogenase. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 116 (1994) 87-94.

6. Ras, J., van Ophem, P.W., Reijnders, W.N., Van Spanning, R.J., Duine, J.A., Stouthamer, A.H. and Harms, N. Isolation, sequencing, and mutagenesis of the gene encoding NAD- and glutathione-dependent formaldehyde dehydrogenase (GD-FALDH) from Paracoccus denitrificans, in which GD-FALDH is essential for methylotrophic growth. J. Bacteriol. 177 (1995) 247-251. [PMID: 7798140]

7. Barber, R.D., Rott, M.A. and Donohue, T.J. Characterization of a glutathione-dependent formaldehyde dehydrogenase from Rhodobacter sphaeroides. J. Bacteriol. 178 (1996) 1386-1393. [PMID: 8631716]

[EC created 2005 (EC created 1961, modified 1982, modified 2002, part transferred 2005 to EC]

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