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BMC Med Genet. 2005 May 27;6:23.

Polymorphisms of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) and susceptibility to pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia in a German study population.

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  • 1Institute for Pharmacogenetic and Genetic Disposition, Langenhagen, Germany.



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.

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