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World J Gastroenterol. 2006 Oct 14;12(38):6128-32.

Total plasma homocysteine and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase C677T polymorphism in patients with colorectal carcinoma.

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Dipartimento di Chirurgia e Specialità Chirurgiche, Università degli Studi, Policlinico Le Scotte, Viale Bracci, Siena 53100, Italy.



To investigate the behaviour of total plasma homocysteine (tHcy) and its most common genetic determinant defect, the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase C677T (C677TMTHFR) polymorphism in patients with early stage colorectal carcinoma.


tHcy was quantified by Abbott IMx immunoassay; screening for C677TMTHFR substitution was performed by PCR and restriction analysis.


The frequency of the C/T and T/T genotypes of the C677TMTHFR gene polymorphism did not differ between the groups. The mean tHcy was statistically higher in cancer patients than in control subjects carrying the same C/C or C/T genotype, whereas there was no difference in the T/T homozygous carriers of the two groups. tHcy was significantly higher in the T/T homozygous carriers than in C/C and C/T genotype carriers.


The statistically significant increase of tHcy observed in C/C and C/T genotype carriers among our cancer patients is related to substrate consumption dependent on the tumor cell proliferation rate, whereas the tHcy increase observed in T/T genotype carriers of both groups probably depends on the enzymatic deficit of the homocysteine conversion to methionine and/or on the folate deficiency.

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