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Carcinogenesis. 2007 Jul;28(7):1510-9. Epub 2007 Mar 26.

Twenty-four non-synonymous polymorphisms in the one-carbon metabolic pathway and risk of colorectal adenoma in the Nurses' Health Study.

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Program in Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Dietary folate and alcohol consumption as well as polymorphic variants in one-carbon metabolism genes may modulate risk of colorectal adenoma through aberrant DNA methylation and altered nucleotide synthesis and repair. We assessed the association of 24 non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs) in 13 genes in the one-carbon metabolism pathway and risk of colorectal adenoma in 556 incident cases and 557 controls nested in the Nurses' Health Study. Most of the SNPs were not associated with risk of colorectal adenoma. We did, however, observe a modest increased risk among carriers of the transcobalamin (TCN) II 259 Pro/Arg + Arg/Arg variant (odds ratio 1.48, 95% confidence interval 1.09-2.02) for colorectal adenoma. The TCN II Pro259Arg polymorphism may affect TCN binding and transport of vitamin B(12) and thus warrants further investigation of its biological function. In addition, the methionine synthase reductase (MTRR) Arg415Cys and MTRR Ser284Thr variant carriers, also in the vitamin B(12) pathway, have suggestive associations with advanced colorectal adenoma (defined as being larger than 1 cm, villous, tubular-villous or carcinoma in situ histology). We observed significant evidence for departure from multiplicative interaction for the betaine-homocysteine methyltransferase (BHMT) Arg239Gln with dietary methyl status (based on intake of dietary folate, methionine and alcohol intake) in relation to colorectal adenoma; no such interaction was observed for the other 23 SNPs. Further investigation is required to validate the association of the polymorphisms in the one-carbon metabolic genes and risk of colorectal adenoma.

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