Large-scale population-based metabolic phenotyping of thirteen genetic polymorphisms related to one-carbon metabolism


  • Communicated by Klaus Meyer


Several polymorphisms of genes involved in one-carbon metabolism have been identified. The reported metabolic phenotypes are often based on small studies providing inconsistent results. This large-scale study of 10,601 population-based samples was carried out to investigate the association between a panel of biochemical parameters and genetics variants related to one-carbon metabolism. Concentrations of total homocysteine (tHcy), folate, vitamin B12 (cobalamin), methylmalonic acid (MMA), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B6 (PLP), choline, betaine, dimethylglycine (DMG), cystathionine, cysteine, methionine, and creatinine were determined in serum/plasma. All subjects were genotyped for 13 common polymorphisms: methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) c.665C>T (known as 677C>T; p.Ala222Val) and c.1286A>C (known as 1298A>C; p.Glu429Ala); methionine synthase (MTR) c.2756A>G (p.Asp919Gly); methionine synthase reductase (MTRR) c.66A>G (p.Ile22Met); methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase (MTHFD1) c.1958G>A (p.Arg653Gln); betaine homocysteine methyltransferase (BHMT) c.716G>A (known as 742G>A; p.Arg239Gln); cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) c.844_845ins68 and c.699C>T (p.Tyr233Tyr); transcobalamin-II (TCN2) c.67A>G (p.Ile23Val) and c.776C>G (p.Pro259Arg); reduced folate carrier-1 (SLC19A1) c.80G>A (p.Arg27His); and paraoxonase-1 (PON1) c.163T>A (p.Leu55Met) and c.575A>G (p.Gln192Arg). The metabolic profile in terms of the measured vitamins and metabolites were investigated for these 13 polymorphisms. We confirmed the strong associations of MTHFR c.665C>T with tHcy and folate, but also observed significant (P<0.01) changes in metabolite concentrations according to other gene polymorphisms. These include MTHFR c.1286A>C (associations with tHcy, folate and betaine), MTR c.2756A>G (tHcy), BHMT c.716G>A (DMG), CBS c.844_845ins68 (tHcy, betaine), CBS c.699C>T (tHcy, betaine, cystathionine) and TCN2 c.776C>G (MMA). No associations were observed for the other polymorphisms investigated. Hum Mutat 28(9), 856–865, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.