The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the folate receptor (FOLR) family. Members of this gene family have a high affinity for folic acid and for several reduced folic acid derivatives, and mediate delivery of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate to the interior of cells.
FRA can be overexpressed by a number of epithelial-derived tumors including ovarian, breast, renal, lung, colorectal, and brain. Hence antibodies to it are used in targeted therapies and diagnostic tests, e.g. farletuzumab in phase III trial for ovarian cancer.
Autoantibodies to the FRA have been linked to neurodevelopmental diseases, particularly cerebral folate deficiency schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder. Recent studies have shown that these neurodevelopmental disorders can be treated with leucovorin calcium.
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