Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Circulation. 1996 Jan 1;93(1):7-9.

Relation between folate status, a common mutation in methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, and plasma homocysteine concentrations.

Author information

  • 1Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, Mass, USA.



Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) synthesizes 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, the major carbon donor in remethylation of homocysteine to methionine. A common MTHFR mutation, an alanine-to-valine substitution, renders the enzyme thermolabile and may cause elevated plasma levels of the amino acid homocysteine.


To assess the potential interaction between this mutation and vitamin coenzymes in homocysteine metabolism, we screened 365 individuals from the NHLBI Family Heart Study. Among individuals with lower plasma folate concentrations ( < 15.4 nmol/L), those with the homozygous mutant genotype had total fasting homocysteine levels that were 24% greater (P<.05) than individuals with the normal genotype. A difference between genotypes was not seen among individuals with folate levels > or = 15.4 nmol/L.


Individuals with thermolabile MTHFR may have a higher folate requirement for regulation of plasma homocysteine concentrations; folate supplementation may be necessary to prevent fasting hyperhomocysteinemia in such persons.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk