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Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2009 Jan 1;234(1):41-6. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2008.09.026. Epub 2008 Oct 11.

Ethnic differences in five intronic polymorphisms associated with arsenic metabolism within human arsenic (+3 oxidation state) methyltransferase (AS3MT) gene.

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Department of Legal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Shimane University, Izumo, Shimane, Japan.


Human arsenic (+3 oxidation state) methyltransferase (AS3MT) is known to catalyze the methylation of arsenite, and intronic single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs: G7395A, G12390C, T14215C, T35587C, and G35991A) in the AS3MT gene were shown to be related to inter-individual variation in the arsenic metabolism. In the present study, the genotyping for these SNPs was developed using the polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism technique. Applying this method, the genotype distribution among the Ovambo, Turkish, Mongolian, Korean, and Japanese populations was investigated, and our results were compared with those from other studies. G7395, G12390, T35587, and A35991 were predominant among the five populations in our study. However, a previous study in Argentina, C12390 and G35991 showed the highest allele frequency among the eight populations studied in other studies. The dominant allele of T14215C differed among populations: the T14215 allele was predominant in Argentina, the allele frequency of C14215 was higher than that of T14215 among Turks, Mongolians, Europeans, and American ancestry. In Korea and Japan, similar allele frequencies were observed in T14215 and C14215. Higher allele frequencies were observed in haplotype G7395/G12390/C14215/T35587 with frequencies of 0.40 (Turks), 0.28 (Mongolians), and 0.23 (Koreans). On the other hand, the allele frequency for G7395/G14215/T35587/A35991 was the highest among the Ovambos (0.32), and the frequency for G7395/G12390/C35587/G35991 was the highest among the Japanese (0.27). It is noteworthy that the Japanese haplotype differs from that of the Koreans and Mongolians, which indicates the importance of investigating other intronic polymorphisms in AS3MT, especially in Asians.

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