The methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) genes and folate in one-carbon metabolism are essential for DNA methylation and synthesis. However, their role in carcinogen DNA damage in target lung tissue, a dosimeter for cancer risk, is not known. Our study aimed to investigate the association between genetic and nutritional one-carbon metabolism factors and DNA adducts in target lung. Data on 135 lung cancer cases from the Massachusetts General Hospital were studied. Genotyping was completed for MTHFR C677T (rs1801133) and A1298C (rs1801131). Information on dietary intake for one-carbon related micronutrients, folate and other B vitamin, was derived from a validated food frequency questionnaire. DNA adducts in lung were measured by 32P-postlabeling. After adjusting for potential confounders, DNA adduct levels in lung significantly increased by 69.2% [95% confidence interval (CI), 5.5% to 171.5%] for the MTHFR 1298AC+CC genotype. The high risk group, combining the A1298C (AC+CC) plus C677T (CT+TT) genotypes, had significantly enhanced levels of lung adducts by 210.7% (95% CI, 21.4% to 695.2%) in contrast to the A1298C (AA) plus C677T (CC) genotypes. Elevation of DNA adduct was pronounced - 111.3% (95% CI, −3.0 to 360.5%) among 1298AC+CC patients who consumed the lowest level of folate intake as compared with 1298AA individuals with highest tertile of intake. These results indicate that DNA adducts levels are influenced by MTHFR polymorphisms and low folate consumption, suggesting an important role of genetic and nutritional factors in protecting DNA damage from lung carcinogen in at-risk populations.
MTHFR; folate; genetic polymorphisms; DNA adducts; one carbon metabolism
Folate metabolism pathway genes have been examined for association with neural tube defects (NTDs) because folic acid supplementation reduces the risk of this debilitating birth defect. Most studies addressed these genes individually, often with different populations providing conflicting results.
Our study evaluates several folate pathway genes for association with human NTDs, incorporating an environmental cofactor: maternal folate supplementation.
In 304 Caucasian American NTD families with myelomeningocele or anencephaly, we examined 28 polymorphisms in 11 genes: folate receptor 1, folate receptor 2, solute carrier family 19 member 1, transcobalamin II, methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase 1, serine hydroxymethyl-transferase 1, 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), 5-methyltetrahydrofolate-homo-cysteine methyltransferase, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate-homocysteine methyltransferase reductase, betaine-homocysteine methyltransferase (BHMT), and cystathionine-beta-synthase.
Only single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in BHMT were significantly associated in the overall data set; this significance was strongest when mothers took folate-containing nutritional supplements before conception. The BHMT SNP rs3733890 was more significant when the data were stratified by preferential transmission of the MTHFR rs1801133 thermolabile T allele from parent to offspring. Other SNPs in folate pathway genes were marginally significant in some analyses when stratified by maternal supplementation, MTHFR, or BHMT allele transmission.
BHMT rs3733890 is significantly associated in our data set, whereas MTHFR rs1801133 is not a major risk factor. Further investigation of folate and methionine cycle genes will require extensive SNP genotyping and/or resequencing to identify novel variants, inclusion of environmental factors, and investigation of gene–gene interactions in large data sets.
folate; folic acid supplementation; genetic association; neural tube defects
The pathogenesis of human spontaneous abortion involves a complex interaction of several genetic and environmental factors. The firm association between increased homocysteine concentration and neural tube defects (NTD) has led to the hypothesis that high concentrations of homocysteine might be embryotoxic and lead to decreased fetal viability. There are several genetic polymorphisms that are associated with defects in folate- and vitamin B12-dependent homocysteine metabolism. The methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) 677C>T and 1298A>C polymorphisms cause elevated homocysteine concentration and are associated with an increased risk of NTD. Additionally, low concentration of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) or transcobalamin that delivers vitamin B12 to the cells of the body leads to hyperhomocysteinemia and is associated with NTD. This effect involves the transcobalamin (TC) 776C>G polymorphism. Importantly, the biochemical consequences of these polymorphisms can be modified by folate and vitamin B12 supplementation. In this review, I focus on recent studies on the role of hyperhomocysteinemia-associated polymorphisms in the pathogenesis of human spontaneous abortion and discuss the possibility that periconceptional supplementation with folate and vitamin B12 might lower the incidence of miscarriage in women planning a pregnancy.
DNA methylation is an epigenetic phenomenon that can modulate gene function by up or downregulation of gene expression. Vitamin B12 and folate pathways are involved in the production of S-Adenosylmethionine, the universal methyl donor.
Brain vitamin B12 concentration and global DNA methylation was determined in transcobalamin receptor (TCblR/CD320) knock out (KO) (n = 4) and control mice (n = 4) at 20–24 weeks of age. Median [IQR] brain vitamin B12 concentrations (pg/mg) in TCblR/CD320 KO mice compared with control mice was 8.59 [0.52] vs 112.42 [33.12]; p < 0.05. Global DNA methylation levels in brain genomic DNA were lower in TCblR/CD320 KO compared with control mice (Median [IQR]: 0.31[0.16] % vs 0.55[0.15] %; p < 0.05.).
In TCblR/CD320 KO mice, brain vitamin B12 drops precipitously by as much as 90% during a 20 week period. This decrease is associated with a 40% decrease in global DNA methylation in the brain. Future research will reveal whether the disruption in gene expression profiles due to changes in DNA hypomethylation contribute to central nervous system pathologies that are frequently seen in vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12 deficiency; Brain; Global DNA methylation; Transcobalamin receptor knock out mice
Little is known about the contribution of polymorphisms in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene (MTHFR) and the folate metabolism pathway in rectal cancer alone. Data were from participants in a case-control study conducted in Northern California and Utah (751 cases and 979 controls). We examined independent associations and interactions of folate, B vitamins, methionine, alcohol, and MTHFR polymorphisms (MTHFR C677T and A1298C) with rectal cancer. Dietary folate intake was associated with a reduction in rectal cancer OR 0.66, 95% CI 0.48-0.92 (>475 mcg day compared to < = 322 mcg) as was a combination of nutrient intakes contributing to higher methyl donor status (OR 0.79, 95% CI 0.66-0.95). Risk was reduced among women with the 677 TT genotype (OR 0.54, 95% CI 0.30-0.9), but not men (OR 1.11, 95% CI 0.70-1.76) and with the 1298 CC genotype in combined gender analysis (OR 0.67, 95% CI 0.46-0.98). These data are consistent with a protective effect of increasing dietary folate against rectal cancer and suggest a protective role of the MTHFR 677 TT genotype in women and 1298 CC in men and women. Folate intake, low methyl donor status, and MTHFR polymorphisms may play independent roles in the etiology of rectal cancer.
Diet; Pteroylpolyglutamic Acids; Rectal Neoplasms; Polymorphism; Genetic
Folate and cobalamin (Vitamin B12) are two essential micronutrients involved in one-carbon metabolism, which affects heart disease, neural tube defects and cancer. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, the key enzyme involved in one carbon metabolism produces methyl tetrahydrofolate from methylene tetrahydrofolate, which in turn donates methyl group to homocysteine to generate methionine. There exist two common low function polymorphic variants of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene involving nucleotides 677 C→T and 1298 A→C, which are associated with hyperhomocysteinemia. These polymorphisms are also linked with increased risk for certain cancers such as breast cancer and at the same time providing a protective effect on colorectal cancer. In this case control study, we have evaluated levels of folic acid, vitamin B12 and homocysteine in patients with colorectal cancer. Folate and homocysteine levels did not differ significantly between the two groups; however an increasing trend was noticed with increase in homocysteine levels. Vitamin B12 levels were increased in cases compared to control group.
Colorectal cancer; Folate; Vitamin B12; Homocysteine
Cigarette smoking is an established risk factor of lung cancer development while the current epidemiological evidence is suggestive of an increased lung cancer risk associated with alcohol consumption. Dietary folate, which is present in a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables, may be a micronutrient that has a beneficial impact on lung carcinogenesis. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) plays a crucial role in regulating folate metabolism, which affects both DNA synthesis/repair and methylation. We examined if smoking or alcohol consumption modify associations between MTHFR polymorphisms and lung cancer risk.
We evaluated the role of the MTHFR C677T (rs1801133) and A1298C (rs1801131) polymorphisms in a case-control study comprised of 462 lung cancer cases and 379 controls in a Japanese population. Logistic regression was used to assess the adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI).
The TT genotype of the C677T polymorphism was significantly associated with an increased risk of lung cancer (OR = 2.27, 95% CI = 1.42 - 3.62, P < 0.01) while the A1298C polymorphism was not associated with lung cancer risk. The minor alleles of both polymorphisms behaved in a recessive fashion. The highest risks were seen for 677TT-carriers with a history of smoking or excessive drinking (OR = 6.16, 95% CI = 3.48 - 10.9 for smoking; OR = 3.09, 95% CI = 1.64 - 5.81 for drinking) compared with C-carriers without a history of smoking or excessive drinking, but no interactions were seen. The 1298CC genotype was only associated with increased risk among non-smokers (P < 0.05), and smoking was only associated with increased risks among 1298A-carriers (P < 0.01), but no significant interaction was seen. There was a synergistic interaction between the A1298C polymorphism and drinking (P < 0.05). The highest risk was seen for the CC-carriers with excessive drinking (OR = 7.24, 95% CI = 1.89 - 27.7) compared with the A-carriers without excessive drinking).
The C677T polymorphism was significantly associated with lung cancer risk. Although the A1298C polymorphism was not associated with lung cancer risk, a significant interaction with drinking was observed. Future studies incorporating data on folate intake may undoubtedly lead to a more thorough understanding of the role of the MTHFR polymorphisms in lung cancer development.
Folate metabolism plays a critical role in embryonic development. Prenatal folate supplementation reduces the risk of neural tube defects and probably oral facial clefts. Previous studies of related metabolic genes have associated polymorphisms in cystathionine-beta-synthase (CBS) and 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) with cleft risk. We explored associations between genes related to one-carbon metabolism and clefts in a Norwegian population-based study that included 362 families with cleft lip with or without cleft palate (CL/P) and 191 families with cleft palate only (CPO). We previously showed a 39% reduction in risk of CL/P with folic acid supplementation in this population. In the present study we genotyped 12 polymorphisms in nine genes related to one-carbon metabolism and looked for associations of clefting risk with fetal polymorphisms, maternal polymorphisms, as well as parent-of-origin effects, using combined likelihood-ratio tests (LRT). We also stratified by maternal periconceptional intake of folic acid (>400 μg) to explore gene-exposure interactions. We found a reduced risk of CL/P with mothers who carried the CBS C699T variant (rs234706); relative risk was 0.94 with one copy of the T allele (95% CI 0.63-1.4) and 0.50 (95% CI 0.26-0.96) with two copies (P = 0.008). We found no evidence of interaction of this variant with folate status. We saw no evidence of risk from the MTHFR C677T variant (rs1801133) either overall or after stratifying by maternal folate intake. No associations were found between any of the polymorphisms and CPO. Genetic variations in the nine metabolic genes examined here do not confer a substantial degree of risk for clefts. Published 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.†
alleles; cleft lip; cleft palate; dietary supplements; folic acid; metabolism; humans; single nucleotide polymorphisms
Background/Objectives: To compare the efficacy of a diet rich in natural folate and of two different folic acid supplementation protocols in subjects with “moderate” hyperhomocysteinemia, also taking into account C677T polymorphism of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene. Subjects/Methods: We performed a 13 week open, randomized, double blind clinical trial on 149 free living persons with mild hyperhomocyteinemia, with daily 200 μg from a natural folate-rich diet, 200 μg [6S]5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF), 200 μg folic acid or placebo. Participants were stratified according to their MTHFR genotype. Results: Homocysteine (Hcy) levels were reduced after folate enriched diet, 5-MTHF or folic acid supplementation respectively by 20.1% (p < 0.002), 19.4% (p < 0.001) and 21.9% (p < 0.001), as compared to baseline levels and significantly as compared to placebo (p < 0.001, p < 0.002 and p < 0.001, respectively for enriched diet, 5-MTHF and folic acid). After this enriched diet and the folic acid supplementation, Hcy in both genotype groups decreased approximately to the same level, with higher percentage decreases observed for the TT group because of their higher pre-treatment value. Similar results were not seen by genotype for 5-MTHF. A significant increase in RBC folate concentration was observed after folic acid and natural folate-rich food supplementations, as compared to placebo. Conclusions: Supplementation with natural folate-rich foods, folic acid and 5-MTHF reached a similar reduction in Hcy concentrations.
folic acid; 5-MTHF; homocysteine; folate-rich diet; MTHFR genotype; clinical trial
Remethylation of homocysteine to methionine is dependent on an adequate supply of one or more of the B vitamins like folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6. Plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) is also influenced by genetic factors such as polymorphisms in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene. MTHFR is a flavo enzyme and a key player in folate metabolism and changes in its activity could modify the susceptibility to Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). In this case — control study we have examined the effect of riboflavin status as measured by erythrocyte glutathione reductase activation coefficient (EGRAC) on homocysteine levels along with vitamin B12 and folate in pediatric ALL. Folate and B12 levels were significantly lower among cases as compared to controls while EGRAC and tHcy did not differ significantly among the groups. The multivariate regression analysis revealed that in the ALL group EGRAC significantly influences tHcy levels suggesting that riboflavin availability may be a predictor of tHcy levels in patients with ALL. This finding may have implications for tHcy lowering therapy.
Homocysteine; Riboflavin; MTHFR; Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Several studies have determined that dietary intake of B vitamins may be associated with breast cancer risk as a result of interactions between 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) and methionine synthase (MTR) in the one-carbon metabolism pathway. However, the association between B vitamin intake and breast cancer risk in Brazilian women in particular has not yet been investigated.
A case-control study was conducted in São Paulo, Brazil, with 458 age-matched pairs of Brazilian women. Energy-adjusted intakes of folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 were derived from a validated Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). Genotyping was completed for MTHFR A1298C and C677T, and MTR A2756G polymorphisms. A logistical regression model was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs).
Neither dietary intake of folate, vitamin B6, or vitamin B12 nor MTHFR polymorphisms were independently associated with breast cancer risk. Analysis stratified by menopausal status showed a significant association between placement in the highest tertile of folate intake and risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women (OR = 2.17, 95% CI: 1.23–3.83; Ptrend = 0.010). The MTR 2756GG genotype was associated with a higher risk of breast cancer than the 2756AA genotype (OR = 1.99, 95% CI = 1.01–3.92; Ptrend = 0.801), and statistically significant interactions with regard to risk were observed between the MTHFR A1298C polymorphism and folate (P = 0.024) or vitamin B6 (P = 0.043), and between the MTHFR C677T polymorphism and folate (P = 0.043) or vitamin B12 (P = 0.022).
MTHFR polymorphisms and dietary intake of folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 had no overall association with breast cancer risk. However, increased risk was observed in total women with the MTR 2756GG genotype and in premenopausal women with high folate intake. These findings, as well as significant interactions between MTHFR polymorphisms and B vitamins, warrant further investigation.
Most non‐syndromic congenital heart defects (CHD) are caused by a complex interaction between maternal lifestyle factors, environmental exposures, and maternal and fetal genetic variants. Maternal periconceptional intake of folic acid containing vitamin supplements is reported to decrease the risk of CHD. The 677C→T and 1298A→C polymorphisms in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene decrease enzyme activity.
To examine the relation between CHD and maternal and fetal MTHFR polymorphisms
375 nuclear families were studied. The transmission/disequilibrium test was used to test for transmission distortion in complete triads. A log‐linear approach was used to test for associations between CHD and maternal and offspring polymorphisms, and to estimate independently the contributions of maternal and fetal variants to relative risks. Haplotype frequencies were estimated and a haplotype transmission disequilibrium test carried out.
The 1298C allele was transmitted less often than expected (p = 0.0013). There was no distortion in the transmission of the 677T allele, neither was there evidence of a parent of origin effect in the transmission of either of the single nucleotide polymorphisms. The 677C–1298C haplotype was also transmitted less often than expected (p = 0.0020). The relative risk associated with inheriting one copy of the 1298C allele was 0.64 (95% confidence interval, 0.48 to 0.87) and the that associated with inheriting two copies of the 1298C allele, 0.38 (0.21 to 0.70).
The apparent protective effect of the MTHFR 1298C allele against CHD could have several explanations and further study is needed.
congenital heart defect; MTHFR; polymorphism; folic acid
Since the establishment of the 1998 folate recommended dietary allowance (RDA), the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) 677C→T variant has emerged as a strong modifier of folate status. This controlled feeding study investigated the adequacy of the RDA, 400 μg/d as dietary folate equivalents (DFE), for Mexican American men with the MTHFR 677CC or TT genotype. Because of the interdependency between folate and choline, the influence of choline intake on folate status was also assessed. Mexican American men (n = 60; 18–55 y) with the MTHFR 677CC (n = 31) or TT (n = 29) genotype consumed 438 μg DFE/d and total choline intakes of 300, 550 (choline adequate intake), 1100, or 2200 mg/d for 12 wk. Folate status response was assessed via serum folate (SF), RBC folate, plasma total homocysteine (tHcy), and urinary folate. SF decreased (P < 0.001) 66% to 7.9 ± 0.7 nmol/L (means ± SEM) in men with the 677TT genotype and 62% to 11.3 ± 0.9 nmol/L in the 677CC genotype. Plasma tHcy increased (P < 0.0001) 170% to 31 ± 3 μmol/L in men with the 677TT genotype and 18% to 11.6 ± 0.3 μmol/L in the 677CC genotype. At the end of the study, 34% (677TT) and 16% (677CC) had SF concentrations <6.8 nmol/L and 79% (677TT) and 7% (677CC) had tHcy concentrations >14 μmol/L. Choline intake did not influence the response of the measured variables. These data showed that the folate RDA is not adequate for men of Mexican descent, particularly for those with the MTHFR 677TT genotype, and demonstrated a lack of influence of choline intake on the folate status variables measured in this study.
The methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene is one of the main regulatory enzymes involved in folate metabolism, DNA synthesis and remethylation reactions. The influence of MTHFR variants on male infertility is not completely understood. The objective of this study was to analyze the distribution of the MTHFR C677T and A1298C variants using PCR-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) in a case group consisting of 344 men with unexplained reduced sperm counts compared to 617 ancestry-matched fertile or normozoospermic controls. The Chi square test was used to analyze the genotype distributions of MTHFR polymorphisms. Our data indicated a lack of association of the C677T variant with infertility. However, the homozygous (C/C) A1298C polymorphism of the MTHFR gene was present at a statistically high significance in severe oligozoospermia group compared with controls (OR = 3.372, 95% confidence interval CI = 1.27–8.238; p = 0.01431). The genotype distribution of the A1298C variants showed significant deviation from the expected Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, suggesting that purifying selection may be acting on the 1298CC genotype. Further studies are necessary to determine the influence of the environment, especially the consumption of diet folate on sperm counts of men with different MTHFR variants.
Huntington disease (HD) is a fully penetrant, autosomal dominantly inherited disorder associated with abnormal expansions of a stretch of perfect CAG repeats in the 5' part of the IT15 gene. The number of repeat units is highly predictive for the age at onset (AO) of the disorder. But AO is only modestly correlated with repeat length when intermediate HD expansions are considered. Recently, suggestive association has been reported between a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP; rs1801131, also known as A1298C) in the methyltetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene and AO of HD. 5,10-MTHFR is a key enzyme in the folate metabolism, diverting metabolites toward methylation reactions or nucleotide synthesis. Using part of a previously established study cohort plus additional patients and appropriate statistical methods, we reinvestigated two polymorphisms in the MTHFR gene, C677T and A1298C, as well as their association with AO in 167 HD patients.
There was no statistically significant impact on AO for HD patients, neither of MTHFR SNPs nor of the combinations thereof.
Contrary to previously described evidence the A1298C polymorphism in the MTHFR gene does not appear to modulate AO of HD patients.
Objective: Down's syndrome (DS) is the most frequent genetic cause of Alzheimer-type dementia. Its metabolic phenotype involves an increased trans-sulphuration of homocysteine. The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of homocysteinaemia (t-Hcys), folate, vitamin B12, and related polymorphisms on intelligence quotient (IQ) in DS.
Methods: The IQ of 131 patients with trisomy 21 from a specialist centre in Sicily was determined and classified according to DMS-IV. The effects of age, folate, vitamin B12, t-Hcys, and genetic polymorphisms on IQ were evaluated separately and in combination using regression analyses.
Results: IQ was significantly lower in DS patients with t-Hcys >7.5 µmol/l (median) and in those who were carriers of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) 677 T allele and of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase 677 T and transcobalamin 776 G combined alleles (p = 0.0013, p = 0.0165, and p = 0.0074, respectively). The IQ correlated significantly with t-Hcys and folate in single and multiple regression analyses, independently of age. In addition, t-Hcys >9.6 µmol/l (upper quartile) was found to be associated with low IQ (<40, median of study group) with an odds ratio of 2.61 (p = 0.0203). The odds ratio was increased by threefold in carriers of MTHFR 677T allele. The MTHFR 677T allele/transcobalamin 776 G allele combination was associated with the risk of DS patients to have an IQ less that the median with an odds ratio of 2.68 (95% CI 1.26 to 5.70, p = 0.0104).
Conclusion: This study found evidence of an association between t-Hcys and MTHFR 677 T and transcobalamin 776 G alleles with IQ in patients with DS. The association may be related to a defective remethylation of homocysteine, affecting IQ.
An elevated level of plasma homocysteine, sulfur containing amino acid generated through demethylation of methionine has been widely accepted as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). The increase can result from genetic and/or nutrient related disturbances in the remethylation or transsulfuration pathways for homocysteine metabolism. A common mutation (C677T) in the gene encoding for the enzyme 5, 10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) or deficiency of the B vitamins namely folic acid, B12, B6 can lead to hyperhomocysteinemia.
In the present study, we have investigated the incidence of the (C677T) MTHFR polymorphism in the North Indian males. 141 angiographically proven coronary artery disease (CAD) patients and 55 age and sex matched healthy volunteers were examined for the association between MTHFR gene polymorphism and CAD. The MTHFR genotyping was performed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) followed by restriction-isotyping with Hinf 1 endonuclease. A trend for higher ‘T’ allele frequency (0.19) was observed in patients than in controls (0.16). However no significant association was found between C677T mutation and CAD severity. The lack of statistical significance could be due to the small sample size studied. Hence a larger study including various ethnic groups is warranted.
Genetic polymorphism; hyperhomocysteinemia; atherosclerosis; cardiovascular disease
Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) has a major impact on the regulation of the folic acid pathway due to conversion of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate (methylene-THF) to 5-methyl-THF. Two common polymorphisms (677C>T and 1298A>C) in the gene coding for MTHFR have been shown to reduce MTHFR enzyme activity and were associated with the susceptibility to different disorders, including vascular disease, neural tube defects and lymphoid malignancies. Studies on the role of these polymorphisms in the susceptibility to acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) led to discrepant results.
We retrospectively evaluated the association of the MTHFR 677C>T and 1298A>C polymorphisms with pediatric ALL by genotyping a study sample of 443 ALL patients consecutively enrolled onto the German multicenter trial ALL-BFM 2000 and 379 healthy controls. We calculated odds ratios of MTHFR genotypes based on the MTHFR 677C>T and 1298A>C polymorphisms to examine if one or both of these polymorphisms are associated with pediatric ALL.
No significant associations between specific MTHFR variants or combinations of variants and risk of ALL were observed neither in the total patient group nor in analyses stratified by gender, age at diagnosis, DNA index, immunophenotype, or TEL/AML1 rearrangement.
Our findings suggest that the MTHFR 677C>T and 1298A>C gene variants do not have a major influence on the susceptibility to pediatric ALL in the German population.
Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene mutations have been implicated as risk factors for neural tube defects (NTDs). The best-characterized MTHFR genetic mutation 677C→T is associated with a 2–4 fold increased risk of NTD if patient is homozygous for this mutation. This risk factor is modulated by folate levels in the body. A second mutation in the MTHFR gene is an A→C transition at position 1298. The 1298A→C mutation is also a risk factor for NTD, but with a smaller relative risk than 677C→T mutation. Under conditions of low folate intake or high folate requirements, such as pregnancy, this mutation could become of clinical importance. We present a case report with MTHFR genetic mutation, who presented with recurrent familial pregnancy losses due to anencephaly/NTDs.
Folate; methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene mutation; neural tube defects
To asses he association between intake of folate and B vitamins and the incidence of spontaneous abortion (SA) according to the maternal methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) polymorphisms (677 C>T and 1298 A>C).
Material and Methods
We conducted a nested case-control study within a perinatal cohort of women recruited in the state of Morelos, Mexico. Twenty-three women with SA were compared to 74 women whose pregnancy survived beyond week 20th. Intake of folate and B vitamins respectively, was estimated using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Maternal MTHFR polymorphisms were determined by PCR-RFLP and serum homocysteine levels by HPLC.
Carriers of MTHFR 677TT and 1298AC genotypes respectively showed an increased risk of SA (OR 677TT vs. CC/CT=5.0; 95% CI: 1.2, 20.9 and OR 1298 AC vs. AA=5.5; 95% CI: 1.1, 26.6).
Our results support the role of MTHFR polymorphisms as a risk factor for SA, regardless of dietary intake of B vitamins.
MTHFR; 677 C>T and 1298 A>C polymorphisms; spontaneous abortion; Mexico
Hyperhomocysteinemia (>15 µmol/L) is highly prevalent in South Asian populations including Pakistan. In order to investigate the genetic determinants of this condition, we studied 6 polymorphisms in genes of 3 enzymes - methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR; C677T; A1298C), methionine synthase (MS; A2756G), cystathionine-β-synthase (CBS; T833C/844ins68, G919A) involved in homocysteine metabolism and investigated their interactions with nutritional and environmental factors in a Pakistani population.
In a cross-sectional survey, 872 healthy adults (355 males and 517 females; age 18–60 years) were recruited from a low-income urban population in Karachi. Fasting venous blood was obtained and assessed for plasma/serum homocysteine; folate, vitamin B12, pyridoxal phosphate and blood lead. DNA was isolated and genotyping was performed by PCR-RFLP (restriction-fragment-length- polymorphism) based assays. The average changes in homocysteine levels for MTHFR 677CT and TT genotypes were positive [β(SE β), 2.01(0.63) and 16.19(1.8) µmol/L, respectively]. Contrary to MTHFR C677T polymorphism, the average changes in plasma homocysteine levels for MS 2756AG and GG variants were negative [β(SE β), −0.56(0.58) and −0.83(0.99) µmol/L, respectively]. The average change occurring for CBS 844ins68 heterozygous genotype (ancestral/insertion) was −1.88(0.81) µmol/L. The combined effect of MTHFR C677T, MS A2756G and CBS 844ins68 genotypes for plasma homocysteine levels was additive (p value <0.001). Odds of having hyperhomocysteinemia with MTHFR 677TT genotype was 10-fold compared to MTHFR 677CC genotype [OR (95%CI); 10.17(3.6–28.67)]. Protective effect towards hyperhomocysteinemia was observed with heterozygous (ancestral/insertion) genotype of CBS 844ins68 compared to homozygous ancestral type [OR (95% CI); 0.58 (0.34–0.99)]. Individuals with MTHFR 677CT or TT genotypes were at a greater risk of hyperhomocysteinemia in folate and vitamin B12 deficiencies and high blood lead (p value <0.05) level.
Gene polymorphism (especially MTHFR C677T transition), folate and vitamin B12 deficiencies, male gender and high blood lead level appear to be contributing towards the development of hyperhomocysteinemia in a Pakistani population.
Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is a key enzyme in folate metabolism. We ssessed the association between two common MTHFR variants, 677C>T and 1298A>C, and adenoma recurrence in the context of a randomized double blind clinical trial of aspirin use and folate supplementation. We used generalized linear regression to estimate risk ratios and 95% CIs for recurrence, adjusting for age, sex, clinical center, follow-up time, and treatment status. Neither MTHFR polymorphism was associated with overall or advanced adenoma recurrence. Compared to those with 2 wild type alleles, the relative risk for advanced adenoma was 0.75 (95% CI 0.36 to 1.55), for the MTHFR 677 TT genotype and 1.16 (95% CI 0.58–2.33) for the MTHFR 1298 CC genotype. The effect of folate supplementation on recurrence risk did not differ by genotype. Our findings indicate that MTHFR genotype does not change adenoma risk in a manner similar to its effect on colorectal cancer, and does not modify the effect of folate supplementation on metachronous adenoma risk.
Colorectal Adenomas; MTHFR; Clinical Trials; Folate; Genetic Analysis; Risk Factors
Folic acid may affect the development of human cancers. However, few studies have evaluated the consumption of diet folate in the prognosis of patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).
One hundred and twenty five ESCC patients underwent esophagectomy between January 2005 and March 2006 in the Yangzhong People's Hospital were recruited and followed up. The effects of diet folate, aberrant DNA methylation of selected genes and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T genetic polymorphisms on the prognosis of ESCC were evaluated by using Cox proportional hazard regression models.
Our analysis showed an inverse association between diet folate intake and the risk of death after esophagectomy. The median survival time was 3.06 years for low or moderate folate consumption and over 4.59 years for high folate consumption. After adjusting for potential confounders, the hazard ratios (95% confidence interval) [HRs (95% CI)] were 0.72 (0.36-1.46) for moderate and 0.39 (0.20-0.78) for high folate intake, respectively (P for trend = 0.007). This preventive effect was more evident in patients carrying MTHFR 677CC genotype. No significant relation was observed between aberrant DNA methylation of P16, MGMT and hMLH1 gene, as well as MTHFR C677T genetic polymorphisms and the prognosis of ESCC.
Our research indicated that diet folate intake may have benefits on the prognosis of ESCC after esophagectomy. From a practical viewpoint, the findings of our study help to establish practical intervention and surveillance strategies for managements of ESCC patients and can finally decrease the disease burden.
Several conditions apparent at birth, e.g., neural tube defects (NTDs) and cardiac anomalies, are associated with polymorphisms in folate-related genes, such as the 677C → T polymorphism of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene. Similar associations have been established for several constitutional chronic diseases in adulthood, such as schizophrenia, cardiovascular diseases, dementia, and even neoplasias in different organ systems. This spectrum of developmental anomalies and constitutional diseases may be linked to high-risk conceptions related to preovulatory overripeness ovopathy (PrOO). Some developmental anomalies, such as NTDs, are to a large extent prevented by supplementation of folic acid before conception, but supplementation does not seem to prevent cardiovascular disease or cognitive decline. These diverging results can be elucidated by introduction of the PrOO concept, as MTHFR polymorphisms and inherent low folate levels induce both non-optimal maturation of the oocyte and unsuccessful DNA methylation and demethylation, i.e. epigenetic mutations. The PrOO concept is testable and predicts in a random population the following: (1) female carriers of specific genetic MTHFR variants exhibit more ovulatory disturbances and inherent subfecundity traits, (2) descendents from a carrier mother, when compared with those from a wild-type mother, are more frequently conceived in PrOO high-risk conditions and, thus, (3) disadvantaged in life expectancy. If so, some MTHFR polymorphisms represent a novel, genetically determined, PrOO high-risk conception category comparable to those which are environmentally and behaviorly influenced. These high-risk conditions may cause developmental anomalies and defective epigenetic reprogramming in progeny. The interaction between genetic and environmental factors is a plausible mechanism of multifactorial inheritance.
Folate one-carbon metabolism has been implicated as a determinant of susceptibility to neural tube defects (NTDs), owing to the preventive effect of maternal folic acid supplementation and the higher risk associated with markers of diminished folate status.
Folate one-carbon metabolism was compared in curly tail (ct/ct) and genetically matched congenic (+ct/+ct) mouse strains using the deoxyuridine suppression test in embryonic fibroblast cells and by quantifying s-adenosylmethionine (SAM) and s-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) in embryos using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. A possible genetic interaction between curly tail and a null allele of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) was investigated by generation of compound mutant embryos.
There was no deficit in thymidylate biosynthesis in ct/ct cells but incorporation of exogenous thymidine was lower than in +ct/+ct cells. In +ct/+ct embryos the SAM/SAH ratio was diminished by dietary folate deficiency and normalised by folic acid or myor-inositol treatment, in association with prevention of NTDs. In contrast, folate deficiency caused a significant increase in SAM/SAH ratio in ct/ct embryos. Loss of MTHFR function in curly tail embryos significantly reduced the SAM/SAH ratio but did not cause cranial NTDs or alter the frequency of caudal NTDs.
Curly tail fibroblasts and embryos, in which Grhl3 expression is reduced, display alterations in one-carbon metabolism, particularly in the response to folate deficiency, compared with genetically-matched congenic controls in which Grhl3 is unaffected. However, unlike folate deficiency, diminished methylation potential appears to be insufficient to cause cranial NTDs in the curly tail strain, and neither does it increase the frequency of caudal NTDs.
Neural tube defects; folate; methylation; curly tail; inositol