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QJM. 2003 Apr;96(4):297-303.

5,10-Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase 677C-->T and 1298A-->C mutations are genetic determinants of elevated homocysteine.

Author information

1
Centro de Patogénese Molecular, Faculdade de Farmácia da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is one of the main regulatory enzymes of homocysteine metabolism. Elevated plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) is a major risk for cardiovascular disease. A common 677C-->T mutation in the MTHFR gene results in decreased enzymic activity, and contributes to increased plasma tHcy, in association with low plasma folate. A recently described 1298A-->C mutation in the MTHFR gene clearly reduces MTHFR activity (although to a lesser extent than the 677C-->T) but its effect on plasma tHcy levels is not yet clear.

AIM:

To investigate the frequency of these two MTHFR polymorphisms in a Portuguese population, and to correlate the MTHFR genotype with the biochemical phenotype at the level of homocysteine and folate concentrations.

DESIGN:

Prospective population survey.

METHODS:

We studied 117 healthy volunteers (71 females, 46 males). The 677C-->T and 1298A-->C mutations were screened by PCR-RFLP. Levels of plasma tHcy and folate, and red blood cell folate, were determined.

RESULTS:

The allele frequencies of the 677C-->T and 1298A-->C mutations were 0.33 and 0.28, respectively. Homozygotes for the 677C-->T mutation had significantly elevated plasma tHcy and RBC folate levels and significantly lowered plasma folate concentrations than subjects without the mutation. The 1298A-->C mutation showed a significant effect on plasma tHcy, but not on plasma folate or RBC folate levels.

DISCUSSION:

The observed 677T allele frequency is not consistent with the idea of a north-south gradient as previously suggested. The 1298A-->C mutation is common in Portugal. Both MTHFR mutations showed effects on plasma tHcy levels.

PMID:
12651974
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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