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Metabolism is predicted to generate formaldehyde, a toxic, simple, reactive aldehyde that can damage DNA. Here we report a synthetic lethal interaction in avian cells between ADH5, encoding the main formaldehyde-detoxifying enzyme, and the Fanconi anemia (FA) DNA-repair pathway. These results define a fundamental role for the combined action of formaldehyde catabolism and DNA cross-link repair in vertebrate cell survival.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Struct Mol Biol

Publication Date





1432 - 1434


Aldehyde Oxidoreductases, Animals, Cell Line, Chickens, DNA Repair, Fanconi Anemia, Fanconi Anemia Complementation Group C Protein, Fanconi Anemia Complementation Group L Protein, Formaldehyde, Gene Knockout Techniques, Metabolic Networks and Pathways