Association between decreased vitamin levels and MTHFR, MTR and MTRR gene polymorphisms as determinants for elevated total homocysteine concentrations in pregnant women

P R Barbosa, S P Stabler, A L K Machado, R C Braga, R D C Hirata, M H Hirata, L F Sampaio-Neto, R H Allen, E M Guerra-Shinohara
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2008, 62 (8): 1010-21

OBJECTIVES: To examine the association between methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) (C677T and A1298C), methionine synthase (MTR) A2756G and methionine synthase reductase (MTRR) A66G gene polymorphisms and total homocysteine (tHcy), methylmalonic acid (MMA) and S-adenosylmethionine/S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAM/SAH) levels; and to evaluate the potential interactions with folate or cobalamin (Cbl) status.

SUBJECTS/METHODS: Two hundred seventy-five healthy women at labor who delivered full-term normal babies. Cbl, folate, tHcy, MMA, SAM and SAH were measured in serum specimens. The genotypes for polymorphisms were determined by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP).

RESULTS: Serum folate, MTHFR 677T allele and MTR 2756AA genotypes were the predictors of tHcy levels in pregnant women. Serum Cbl and creatinine were the predictors of SAM/SAH ratio and MMA levels, respectively. The gene polymorphisms were not determinants for MMA levels and SAM/SAH ratios. Low levels of serum folate were associated with elevated tHcy in pregnant women, independently of the gene polymorphisms. In pregnant women carrying MTHFR 677T allele, or MTHFR 1298AA or MTRR 66AA genotypes, lower Cbl levels were associated with higher levels of tHcy. Lower SAM/SAH ratio was found in MTHFR 677CC or MTRR A2756AA genotypes carriers when Cbl levels were lower than 142 pmol/l.

CONCLUSIONS: Serum folate and MTHFR C677T and MTR A2576G gene polymorphisms were the determinants for tHcy levels. The interaction between low levels of serum Cbl and MTHFR (C677T or A1298C) or MTRR A66G gene polymorphisms was associated with increased tHcy.

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