ABSTRACT: Moderate hyperhomocysteinemia-induced low folate status is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, dementia, and depression. Folate is an essential cofactor in the one-carbon metabolism pathway and is necessary in amino acid metabolism, purine and thymidylate synthesis, and DNA methylation. In the folate cycle and homocysteine metabolism, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and vitamin B2 are important cofactors. Many enzymes are involved in folate transport and uptake, the folate pathway, and homocysteine (Hcy) metabolism, and various polymorphisms have been documented in these enzymes. Serum folate and total Hcy (tHcy) levels are influenced by folate intake and genetic polymorphisms in 5,10-methylenetertahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) such as C677T. The prevalence of the MTHFR 677TT genotype varies across ethnic groups and regions, with a frequency of approximately 15% in Japanese populations. Individuals with the TT genotype have significantly higher tHcy levels and lower folate levels in serum than those with the CT and TT genotypes. However, administration of folic acid has been shown to eliminate these differences. Moreover, data have suggested that interventions based on genotype may be effective for motivating individuals to change their lifestyle and improve their nutrition status. Accordingly, in this review, we discuss the effects of MTHFR C677T polymorphisms on serum tHcy and folate levels with folic acid intervention and evaluate approaches for overcoming folic acid deficiency and related symptoms.
Project description:Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T polymorphism associated with body fat accumulation could possibly trigger an inflammatory process by elevating homocysteine levels and increasing cytokine production, causing several diseases. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of food intervention, and not folate supplements, on the levels of tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF-?), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and interleukin-1? (IL-1?) in overweight and obese women with the MTHFR C677T polymorphism. A randomized, double-blind eight-week clinical trial of 48 overweight and obese women was conducted. Participants were randomly assigned into two groups. They received 300 g of vegetables daily for eight weeks containing different doses of folate: 95 µg/day for Group 1 and 191 µg/day for Group 2. MTHFR C677T polymorphism genotyping was assessed by digestion with HinfI enzyme and on 12% polyacrylamide gels. Anthropometric measurements, 24-h dietary recall, and biochemical analysis (blood folic acid, vitamin B12, homocysteine (Hcy), TNF-?, IL-1?, and IL-6) were determined at the beginning and end of the study. Group 2 had a significant increase in folate intake (p < 0.001) and plasma folic acid (p < 0.05) for individuals with the cytosine-cytosine (CC), cytosine-thymine (CT), and thymine-thymine (TT) genotypes. However, only individuals with the TT genotype presented reduced levels of Hcy, TNF-?, IL-6, and IL-1? (p < 0.001). Group 1 showed significant differences in folate consumption (p < 0.001) and folic acid levels (p < 0.05) for individuals with the CT and TT genotypes. Food intervention with folate from vegetables increased folic acid levels and reduced interleukins, TNF-?, and Hcy levels, mainly for individuals with the TT genotype.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Results of the association of folate metabolism and carcinogenesis are conflicting. We performed a meta-analysis to examine the effect of the interaction of serum concentration of homocysteine (Hcy), folate, and vitamin B12 and 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) polymorphism on risk of cancer overall.<h4>Method</h4>Two reviewers independently searched for all published studies of Hcy and cancer in PubMed, EMBASE-MEDLINE and Chinese databases. Pooled results were reported as odds ratios (ORs) and mean differences and presented with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) and 2-sided probability values.<h4>Results</h4>We identified 83 eligible studies of 15,046 cases and 20,712 controls. High level of Hcy but low level of folate was associated with risk of cancer overall, with little effect by type of cancer or ethnicity. Vitamin B12 level was inversely associated with only urinary-system and gastrointestinal carcinomas and for Asian and Middle Eastern patients. As well, MTHFR C677T, A1298C and G1793A polymorphisms were related to elevated serum level of Hcy, and folate and vitamin B12 deficiency. However, only MTHFR C677T homogeneity/wild-type (TT/CC) polymorphism was positively associated with overall risk of cancer.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Elevated serum Hcy level and folate deficiency are associated with increased overall risk of cancer.
Project description:Folate metabolism is an important target for drug therapy. Drug-induced inhibition of folate metabolism often causes an elevation of plasma total homocysteine (tHcy). Plasma tHcy levels are influenced by several nongenetic (e.g. folate intake, age, smoking) as well as genetic factors. Over the last decade, several countries have implemented a nationwide folate fortification program of all grain products. This investigation sought to determine the impact of folate fortification on the relative contribution of environmental and genetic factors to the variability of plasma tHcy.Two cohorts were compared in this study, one from the United States (with folate fortification, n=281) and one from Austria (without folate fortification, n=139). Several environmental factors as well as previously identified gene variants important for tHcy levels (MTHFR C677T, MTHFR A1298C, MTRR A66G) were examined for their ability to predict plasma tHcy in a multiple linear regression model.Nongenetic, environmental factors had a comparable influence on plasma tHcy between the two cohorts (R: approximately 0.19). However, after adjusting for other covariates, the tested gene variants had a substantially smaller impact among patients from the folate-fortified cohort (R=0.021) compared with the nonfolate-fortified cohort (R=0.095). The MTHFR C677T polymorphism was the single most important genetic factor. Male sex, smoking, and folate levels were important predictors for nonfolate-fortified patients; age was for folate-fortified patients.Population wide folate fortification had a significant effect on the variability of plasma tHcy and reduced the influence of genetic factors, most importantly the MTHFR 677TT genotype, and may be an important confounder for a personalized drug therapy.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Hyperhomocysteinemia has been suggested to play a role in the NonValvular Atrial Fibrillation (NVAF) pathogenesis. Polymorphisms in genes coding for homocysteine (Hcy) metabolism enzymes may be associated with hyperhomocysteinemia and NVAF. METHODOLOGIES: 456 NVAF patients and 912 matched controls were genotyped by an electronic microchip technology for C677T and A1298C MTHFR, A2756G MTR, and -786C/T eNOS gene polymorphisms. Hcy was determined by an immunoassay method. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The genotype distribution of the four polymorphisms as well as genotype combinations did not differ in patients and controls. Hcy was higher in patients than in controls (15.2, 95%CI 14.7-15.7 vs 11.3, 95%CI 11.0-11.6 micromol/L; p<0.0001). In both populations, a genotype-phenotype association (p<0.0001) between Hcy and C677T MTHFR polymorphism was observed; in controls a significant (p = 0.029) association between tHcy and -786C/T eNOS polymorphism was also observed. At the multivariate analysis the NVAF risk significantly increased in the upper quartiles of Hcy compared to the lowest: OR from 2.8 (1.68-4.54 95%CI) in Q2 to 12.9 (7.96-21.06 95%CI) in Q4. CONCLUSIONS: Our data demonstrated the four polymorphisms, although able, at least in part, to affect Hcy, were not associated with an increased risk of NVAF per se or in combination.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Previous studies support an association between elevated total homocysteine (tHcy) levels and increased all-cause mortality. However, few prospective studies have examined this association in hypertensive patients, and/or tested any effect modification by the methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T genotype. METHODS:This was a post hoc analysis of the China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial. Serum tHcy and folate were measured at baseline. Individual MTHFR C677T genotype (CC, CT, and TT) was determined. Evidence for death included death certificates or home visits. Cumulative hazards of all-cause mortality by tHcy quartiles were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method, and group differences were compared by log-rank tests. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals were estimated by Cox proportional-hazard regression models, adjusting for age, sex, baseline folate, vitamin B12, blood pressure, body mass index, smoking and alcohol drinking status, study center, total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, fasting glucose, creatinine, and treatment group. Potential effect modification by the MTHFR genotype on the relationship between tHcy and all-cause mortality was tested. RESULTS:The analyses included 20,424 hypertensive patients (41% males) without a history of myocardial infarction or stroke. Baseline mean age (SD) was 60?±?7.5 years and mean (SD) serum tHcy was 14.5?±?8.4??mol/L. After a mean follow-up period of 4.5 years, there were 612 (3%) all-cause deaths. Kaplan-Meier survival curves revealed a graded relationship between tHcy quartiles and all-cause mortality. The HRs, using the lowest quartile as the reference, were 1.2, 1.2, and 1.5 in Q2, Q3, and Q4, respectively. A linear trend test, using natural log-transformed tHcy, resulted in an HR of 1.5 (95% confidence interval 1.2-1.9, P?<?.001) after adjustment for lifestyle and health-related variables. Whereas the MTHFR genotype alone had little effect on mortality, it significantly modified the tHcy-mortality association, which was much stronger in the CC/CT genotype than in the TT genotype (P for interaction?<?0.05). CONCLUSIONS:Among Chinese hypertensive patients without cardiovascular comorbidities, elevated tHcy was a significant risk marker for death from all causes, and the association was subject to effect modification by MTHFR genotypes. If confirmed that tHcy and MTHFR genotypes may serve as useful biomarkers for mortality risk assessment and targeted intervention.
Project description:Folates are carriers of one-carbon units and are metabolized by 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) and other enzymes that use riboflavin, cobalamin, or vitamin B6 as cofactors. These B vitamins are essential for the remethylation and transsulfuration of homocysteine, which is an important intermediate in one-carbon metabolism. We studied the MTHFR 677C-->T polymorphism and B vitamins as modulators of one-carbon metabolism in 10,601 adults from the Norwegian Colorectal Cancer Prevention (NORCCAP) cohort, using plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) as the main outcome measure. Mean concentrations of plasma tHcy were 10.4 micromol/liter, 10.9 micromol/liter, and 13.3 micromol/liter in subjects with the CC (51%), CT (41%), and TT (8%) genotypes, respectively. The MTHFR 677C-->T polymorphism, folate, riboflavin, cobalamin, and vitamin B6 were independent predictors of tHcy in multivariate models (P<.001), and genotype effects were strongest when B vitamins were low (P<or=.006). Conversely, the MTHFR polymorphism influenced B vitamin effects, which were strongest in the TT group, in which the estimated tHcy difference between subjects with vitamin concentrations in the lowest compared with the highest quartile was 5.4 micromol/liter for folate, 4.1 micromol/liter for riboflavin, 3.2 micromol/liter for cobalamin, and 2.1 micromol/liter for vitamin B6. Furthermore, interactions between B vitamins were observed, and B vitamins were more strongly related to plasma tHcy when concentrations of other B vitamins were low. The study provides comprehensive data on the MTHFR-B vitamin network, which has major effects on the transfer of one-carbon units. Individuals with the TT genotype were particularly sensitive to the status of several B vitamins and might be candidates for personalized nutritional recommendations.
Project description:Low folate and high homocysteine (Hcy) concentrations are associated with pregnancy-related pathologies such as spina bifida. Polymorphisms in folate/Hcy metabolic enzymes may contribute to this potentially pathogenic biochemical phenotype.The study comprised 26 Caucasian and 23 African-American premenopausal women. Subjects gave fasting blood samples for biochemical phenotyping and genotyping. Total Hcy (tHcy) and both plasma and red blood cell (RBC) folate derivatives (i.e. tetrahydrofolate [THF], 5-methylTHF [5-MTHF], and 5,10-methenylTHF [5,10-MTHF]) were measured using stable isotope dilution liquid chromatography, multiple reaction monitoring, and mass spectrometry. Eleven polymorphisms from nine folate/Hcy pathway genes were genotyped. Tests of association between genetic, lifestyle, and biochemical variables were applied.In African American women, tHcy concentrations were associated (p < 0.05) with total RBC folate, RBC 5-MTHF, B(12), and polymorphisms in methionine synthase (MTR) and thymidylate synthase (TYMS). In Caucasian women, tHcy concentrations were not associated with total folate levels, but were associated (p < 0.05) with RBC THF, ratios of RBC 5-MTHF:THF, and polymorphisms in 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) and MTR. In African Americans, folate derivative levels were associated with smoking, B(12), and polymorphisms in MTR, TYMS, methionine synthase reductase (MTRR), and reduced folate carrier1 (RFC1). In Caucasians, folate derivative levels were associated with vitamin use, B(12), and polymorphisms in MTHFR, TYMS, and RFC1.Polymorphisms in the folate/Hcy pathway are associated with tHcy and folate derivative levels. In African American and Caucasian women, different factors are associated with folate/Hcy phenotypes and may contribute to race-specific differences in the risks of a range of pregnancy-related pathologies.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Hyperhomocysteinemia (>15 µmol/L) is highly prevalent in South Asian populations including Pakistan. In order to investigate the genetic determinants of this condition, we studied 6 polymorphisms in genes of 3 enzymes--methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR; C677T; A1298C), methionine synthase (MS; A2756G), cystathionine-β-synthase (CBS; T833C/844ins68, G919A) involved in homocysteine metabolism and investigated their interactions with nutritional and environmental factors in a Pakistani population. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In a cross-sectional survey, 872 healthy adults (355 males and 517 females; age 18-60 years) were recruited from a low-income urban population in Karachi. Fasting venous blood was obtained and assessed for plasma/serum homocysteine; folate, vitamin B12, pyridoxal phosphate and blood lead. DNA was isolated and genotyping was performed by PCR-RFLP (restriction-fragment-length-polymorphism) based assays. The average changes in homocysteine levels for MTHFR 677CT and TT genotypes were positive [β(SE β), 2.01(0.63) and 16.19(1.8) µmol/L, respectively]. Contrary to MTHFR C677T polymorphism, the average changes in plasma homocysteine levels for MS 2756AG and GG variants were negative [β(SE β), -0.56(0.58) and -0.83(0.99) µmol/L, respectively]. The average change occurring for CBS 844ins68 heterozygous genotype (ancestral/insertion) was -1.88(0.81) µmol/L. The combined effect of MTHFR C677T, MS A2756G and CBS 844ins68 genotypes for plasma homocysteine levels was additive (p value <0.001). Odds of having hyperhomocysteinemia with MTHFR 677TT genotype was 10-fold compared to MTHFR 677CC genotype [OR (95%CI); 10.17(3.6-28.67)]. Protective effect towards hyperhomocysteinemia was observed with heterozygous (ancestral/insertion) genotype of CBS 844ins68 compared to homozygous ancestral type [OR (95% CI); 0.58 (0.34-0.99)]. Individuals with MTHFR 677CT or TT genotypes were at a greater risk of hyperhomocysteinemia in folate and vitamin B12 deficiencies and high blood lead (p value <0.05) level. CONCLUSIONS: Gene polymorphism (especially MTHFR C677T transition), folate and vitamin B12 deficiencies, male gender and high blood lead level appear to be contributing towards the development of hyperhomocysteinemia in a Pakistani population.
Project description:Osteoporosis is an age-related bone disease, affecting mainly postmenopausal women, characterized by decreased bone mineral density (BMD) and consequent risk of fractures. Homocysteine (Hcy), a sulfur-aminoacid whose serum level is regulated by methylenetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) activity and vitamin B12 and folate as cofactors, is a risk factor for inflammatory diseases. Literature data concerning the link between Hcy and osteoporosis are still debated. The aim of our study was to assess the relationship among Hcy and BMD, inflammation, vitamin status and bone turnover in postmenopausal osteoporosis. In 252 postmenopausal women, BMD was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). In addition to serum Hcy, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP) and bone turnover markers (bone alkaline phosphatase-BAP, osteocalcin-OC, C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX), vitamin deficiencies and MTHFR-C677T polymorphism were evaluated. Hcy, inflammation, bone resorption markers and prevalence of C677T polymorphism were higher, whereas vitamin D, B12, folate, and bone formation markers were lower in women with decreased BMD compared to those with normal BMD. Our results suggest a significant association between Hcy, BMD and inflammation in postmenopausal osteoporosis. The regulation of Hcy overproduction and the modulation of the inflammatory substrate could represent additional therapeutic approaches for osteoporosis prevention.
Project description:The homocysteine level is considered to be a product of genetic and lifestyle interactions, mainly mutated methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) and the intake of folate, vitamin B12 and pyridoxine, and their blood levels. Physical activity has been associated with lower homocysteine levels in some population studies, especially among elderly subjects. To further elucidate the observed association between homocysteine and physical activity, while accounting for the effect of the MTHFR C677T genotype, and of plasma levels of folate and B12 vitamins, a cross-sectional study of 620 males and females, aged 70.5 +/- 6.8 years, was carried out. Information on lifestyle habits was collected and laboratory examinations of 12-h fasting total plasma homocysteine, folate, and vitamin B12, as well as DNA analysis for MTHFR C677T variant, were performed. Median total homocysteine values were 11.4 micromol/l for males and 9.4 for females; p < 0.001. Smoking and ethnic origin were not found to be associated with homocysteine levels. Physically active subjects had significantly lower total homocysteine levels when adjusted for sex (p = 0.01). Significant inverse correlations were found between body mass index, plasma folate, B12 and homocysteine levels. Homocysteine levels of the CC, CT and TT genotypes were 9.7, 10.6 and 10.2 mumol/l, respectively (p = 0.002, controlling for sex). In a multiple linear regression model, a sedentary lifestyle increased homocysteine levels by 7% as compared to an active one (p = 0.03) controlling for sex, age, body mass index, folate, vitamin B12, and C677T genotype, all of which were also found to be significantly associated with homocysteine levels. Any level of physical activity was found to be independently associated with lower homocysteine levels in an elderly population, controlling for MTHFR genotype, plasma B-vitamins, age, sex, smoking and BMI. This study emphasizes the importance of maintaining a physically active lifestyle in the elderly.