Epigenetic Factors in Late-Onset Alzheimer's Disease: MTHFR and CTH Gene Polymorphisms, Metabolic Transsulfuration and Methylation Pathways, and B Vitamins.
ABSTRACT: DNA methylation and other epigenetic factors are important in the pathogenesis of late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD). Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene mutations occur in most elderly patients with memory loss. MTHFR is critical for production of S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM), the principal methyl donor. A common mutation (1364T/T) of the cystathionine-?-lyase (CTH) gene affects the enzyme that converts cystathionine to cysteine in the transsulfuration pathway causing plasma elevation of total homocysteine (tHcy) or hyperhomocysteinemia-a strong and independent risk factor for cognitive loss and AD. Other causes of hyperhomocysteinemia include aging, nutritional factors, and deficiencies of B vitamins. We emphasize the importance of supplementing vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin), vitamin B? (folic acid), vitamin B? (pyridoxine), and SAM to patients in early stages of LOAD.
Project description:Because hyperhomocysteinemia can occur in cholesterol gallstone disease, we hypothesized that this may result from trimethylation of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), which partakes in biliary phosphatidylcholine (PC) hypersecretion during cholesterol cholelithogenesis. We fed murine strains C57L/J, C57BL/6J, SWR/J, AKR/J, PE N-methyltransferase (PEMT) knockout (KO), PEMT heterozygous (HET), and wildtype (WT) mice a cholesterol/cholic acid lithogenic diet (LD) for up to 56 days and documented biliary lipid phase transitions and secretion rates. We quantified plasma total homocysteine (tHcy), folate, and vitamin B12 in plasma and liver, as well as biliary tHcy and cysteine secretion rates. Rate-limiting enzyme activities of PC synthesis, PEMT and cytidine triphosphate: phosphocholine cytidylyltransferase (PCT), S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), and S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) were measured in liver homogenates. Other potential sources of plasma tHcy, glycine N-methyltransferase (GNMT) and guanidinoacetate N-methyltransferase (GAMT), were assayed by gene expression. Plasma tHcy and PEMT activities became elevated during cholelithogenesis in gallstone-susceptible C57L, C57BL/6, and SWR mice but not in the gallstone-resistant AKR mice. Persisting in C57L mice, which exhibit the greatest Lith gene burden, these increases were accompanied by elevated hepatic SAM/SAH ratios and augmented biliary tHcy secretion rates. Counter-regulation included remethylation of Hcy to methionine concurrent with decreased folate and vitamin B12 levels and Hcy transsulfuration to cysteine. Concomitantly, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (Mthfr), betaine-homocysteine methyltransferase (Bhmt), and cystathionine-?-synthase (Cbs) were up-regulated, but Gnmt and Gamt genes were down-regulated. PEMT KO and HET mice displayed biliary lipid secretion rates and high gallstone prevalence rates similar to WT mice without any elevation in plasma tHcy levels.This work implicates up-regulation of PC synthesis by the PEMT pathway as a source of elevated plasma and bile tHcy during cholesterol cholelithogenesis.
Project description: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: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:Homocysteine is metabolized to methionine by the action of 5,10 methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR). Alternatively, by the transulfuration pathway, homocysteine is transformed to hydrogen sulphide (H2S), through multiple steps involving cystathionine ?-synthase and cystathionine ?-lyase. Here we have evaluated the involvement of H2S in the thrombotic events associated with hyperhomocysteinemia. To this purpose we have used platelets harvested from healthy volunteers or patients newly diagnosed with hyperhomocysteinemia with a C677T polymorphism of the MTHFR gene (MTHFR++). NaHS (0.1-100 µM) or l-cysteine (0.1-100 µM) significantly increased platelet aggregation harvested from healthy volunteers induced by thrombin receptor activator peptide-6 amide (2 µM) in a concentration-dependent manner. This increase was significantly potentiated in platelets harvested from MTHFR++ carriers, and it was reversed by the inhibition of either cystathionine ?-synthase or cystathionine ?-lyase. Similarly, in MTHFR++ carriers, the content of H2S was significantly higher in either platelets or plasma compared with healthy volunteers. Interestingly, thromboxane A2 production was markedly increased in response to both NaHS or l-cysteine in platelets of healthy volunteers. The inhibition of phospholipase A2, cyclooxygenase, or blockade of the thromboxane receptor markedly reduced the effects of H2S. Finally, phosphorylated-phospholipase A2 expression was significantly higher in MTHFR++ carriers compared with healthy volunteers. In conclusion, the H2S pathway is involved in the prothrombotic events occurring in hyperhomocysteinemic patients.
Project description:Stroke incidence is a multifactorial disease and especially hyperhomocysteinemia is associated with a higher risk of stroke. Previous studies have reported a folate metabolism disorder associated with the MTHFR gene. We investigated four single nucleotide polymorphisms in the MTHFR 3'-UTR [2572 C > A (rs4846049), 4869 C > G (rs1537514), 5488 C > T (rs3737967), and 6685 T > C (rs4846048)] to elucidate associations between ischemic stroke prevalence and prognosis. We examined 511 consecutive patients with ischemic stroke. Additionally, we selected 411 sex-/age-matched control subjects from patients presenting at our hospitals during the same period. The MTHFR 2572 C > A and 6685 T > C were significantly associated with ischemic stroke prevalence in the cardioembolism subgroup (MTHFR 2572CC vs. CA + AA: AOR, 2.145; 95% CI, 1.203-3.827; P = 0.010; MTHFR 6685TT vs. CC: AOR, 10.146; 95% CI, 1.297-79.336; P = 0.027). The gene-environment combined effect was significant, with MTHFR 2572CA + AA and folate levels ≤3.45 ng/mL correlating with ischemic stroke incidence. In addition, the total homocysteine (tHcy) levels in subjects with MTHFR 2572AA were elevated compared to tHcy levels in subjects with MTHFR 2572CC. Therefore, we suggest that MTHFR 2572 C > A and 6685 T > C are associated with ischemic stroke pathogenesis. The combined effects of the MTHFR 3'-UTR polymorphisms and tHcy/folate levels may contribute to stroke prevalence.
Project description:Methionine is the precursor for S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), the major 1-carbon donor involved in >100 transmethylation reactions. Homocysteine produced from SAM must be metabolized either by remethylation for recycling of methionine or transsulfuration to form cystathionine and then cysteine. Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) serves as a coenzyme in enzymes involved in transsulfuration as well as for primary acquisition of 1-carbon units used for remethylation and other phases of 1-carbon metabolism. Because the intake of vitamin B-6 is frequently low in humans and metabolic consequences of inadequacy may be amplified in the postprandial state, we aimed to determine the effects of marginal vitamin B-6 deficiency on the postprandial rates of remethylation, transmethylation, overall transsulfuration, and cystathionine synthesis. Healthy, young adults (4 male, 5 female; 20-35 y) received a primed, constant infusion of [1-(13)C]methionine, [methyl-(2)H(3)]methionine, and [5,5,5-(2)H(3)]leucine to quantify in vivo kinetics at normal vitamin B-6 status and after a 28-d dietary vitamin B-6 restriction. Vitamin B-6 restriction lowered the plasma PLP concentration from 49 ± 4 nmol/L (mean ± SEM) to 19 ± 2 nmol/L (P < 0.0001). Mean remethylation, transsulfuration, and transmethylation rates did not change in response to vitamin B-6 restriction; however, the responses to vitamin B-6 restriction varied greatly among individuals. The plasma cystathionine concentration increased from 142 ± 8 to 236 ± 9 nmol/L (P < 0.001), whereas the fractional cystathionine synthesis rate increased by a mean of 12% in 8 of 9 participants. Interrelationships among plasma concentrations of glycine and cystathionine and kinetic results suggest that individual variability occurs in normal postprandial 1-carbon metabolism and in the response to vitamin B-6 restriction.
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:<b>Background: </b>Hyperhomocysteinemia, a thrombotic risk factor, may have several causes. Among the genetic causes of hyperhomocysteinemia, there are polymorphisms in the enzymes methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (C677T) and cystathionine ?-synthase (C699T, C1080T, and 844ins68). Although the frequency of hyperhomocysteinemia in our country is high, there is no evidence about the frequencies of these polymorphisms.<br><br><b>Methods: </b>We analyzed 80 healthy individuals from several regions in our country. We evaluated the fasting and post-oral methionine load plasma Hcy and the genotypes in order to obtain the allele frequencies of the polymorphisms C677T of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase and C699T, C1080T, and 844ins68 of the cystathionine ?-synthase.<br><br><b>Results: </b>No individual had deficiency of folic acid, vitamins B12, or B6, but 80% had post-oral methionine load hyperhomocysteinemia. We found a significant increase in the Hcy plasma concentration associated with age and gender. Only the polymorphism C1080T was significantly associated with hyperhomocysteinemia.<br><br><b>Conclusion: </b>There is an association between fasting and post-oral methionine load plasma Hcy concentrations with the allelic frequencies of the polymorphisms C669T, 844ins68, and C1080T of the cystathionine ?-synthase and C667T of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase in healthy Mexican individuals. As compared with individuals with normal fasting or post-oral methionine load Hcy plasma levels, only C1080T was significantly associated with hyperhomocysteinemia.
Project description:The transsulfuration pathway (TS) acts in sulfur amino acid metabolism by contributing to the regulation of cellular homocysteine, cysteine production, and the generation of H2S for signaling functions. Regulation of TS pathway kinetics involves stimulation of cystathionine ?-synthase (CBS) by S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) and oxidants such as H2O2, and by Michaelis-Menten principles whereby substrate concentrations affect reaction rates. Although pyridoxal phosphate (PLP) serves as coenzyme for both CBS and cystathionine ?-lyase (CSE), CSE exhibits much greater loss of activity than CBS during PLP insufficiency. Thus, cellular and plasma cystathionine concentrations increase in vitamin B6 deficiency mainly due to the bottleneck caused by reduced CSE activity. Because of the increase in cystathionine, the canonical production of cysteine (homocysteine ? cystathionine ? cysteine) is largely maintained even during vitamin B6 deficiency. Typical whole body transsulfuration flux in humans is 3-7 ?mol/h per kg body weight. The in vivo kinetics of H2S production via side reactions of CBS and CSE in humans are unknown but they have been reported for cultured HepG2 cells. In these studies, cells exhibit a pronounced reduction in H2S production capacity and rates of lanthionine and homolanthionine synthesis in deficiency. In humans, plasma concentrations of lanthionine and homolanthionine exhibit little or no mean change due to 4-wk vitamin B6 restriction, nor do they respond to pyridoxine supplementation of subjects in chronically low-vitamin B6 status. Wide individual variation in responses of the H2S biomarkers to such perturbations of human vitamin B6 status suggests that the resulting modulation of H2S production may have physiological consequences in a subset of people. Supported by NIH grant DK072398. This paper refers to data from studies registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01128244 and NCT00877812.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Trials of B vitamin therapy to lower blood total homocysteine (tHcy) levels for prevention of stroke are inconclusive. Secondary analyses of trial data and epidemiological studies suggest that tHcy levels may be particularly associated with small vessel stroke (SVS). We assessed whether circulating tHcy and B vitamin levels are selectively associated with SVS, but not other stroke subtypes, using Mendelian randomization. METHODS:We used summary statistics data for single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with tHcy (n?=?18), folate (n?=?3), vitamin B6 (n?=?1), and vitamin B12 (n?=?14) levels, and the corresponding data for stroke from the MEGASTROKE consortium (n?=?16,952 subtyped ischemic stroke cases and 404,630 noncases). RESULTS:Genetically predicted tHcy was associated with SVS, with an odds ratio of 1.34 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.13-1.58; p?=?6.7?×?10-4 ) per 1 standard deviation (SD) increase in genetically predicted tHcy levels, but was not associated with large artery or cardioembolic stroke. The association was mainly driven by SNPs at or near the MTHFR and MUT genes. The odds ratios of SVS per 1 SD increase in genetically predicted folate and vitamin B6 levels were 0.49 (95% CI, 0.34-0.71; p?=?1.3?×?10-4 ) and 0.70 (95% CI, 0.52-0.94; p?=?0.02), respectively. Genetically higher vitamin B12 levels were not associated with any stroke subtype. INTERPRETATION:These findings suggest that any effect of homocysteine-lowering treatment in preventing stroke will be confined to the SVS subtype. Whether genetic variants at or near the MTHFR and MUT genes influence SVS risk through pathways other than homocysteine levels and downstream effects require further investigation. Ann Neurol 2019;85:495-501.