Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Lab Clin Med. 2001 Sep;138(3):164-76.

Relevance of folate metabolism in the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Medicine, St James's Hospital and Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.

Abstract

The purpose of this review is to outline the principal mechanisms involved in folate metabolism and how they may relate to the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer (CRC). In recent years, mild folate depletion (low normal level) has been associated with an increased risk of developing certain cancers, in particular colorectal neoplasia. The epidemiologic and mechanistic evidence linking folate deficiency with carcinogenesis is reviewed, with a particular emphasis on colorectal neoplasia. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is a critical folate metabolizing enzyme, and a functional polymorphic variant of this enzyme, the so-called thermolabile variant, caused by a C677T transition in the MTHFR gene, is common in the general population. This review critically examines the evidence that suggests that carriers of this C677T variant may be at increased risk of developing colorectal neoplasia. Although folate depletion may predispose to the initiation of the neoplastic process, folate supplementation, on the other hand, might potentiate the progression of an already established early neoplastic clone (eg, a colorectal adenoma). This could have potential public health implications, given an increasingly widespread policy of folate supplementation of food staples.

PMID:
11528369
DOI:
10.1067/mlc.2001.117161
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center