Journal Article

A prospective study of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase and methionine synthase gene polymorphisms, and risk of colorectal adenoma.

J Chen, E Giovannucci, S E Hankinson, J Ma, W C Willett, D Spiegelman, K T Kelsey and D J Hunter

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 19, issue 12, pages 2129-2132
Published in print December 1998 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online December 1998 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/19.12.2129
A prospective study of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase and methionine synthase gene polymorphisms, and risk of colorectal adenoma.

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We examined the relationship between a functional polymorphism (667C-->T, ala-->val) of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene (MTHFR) and the risk of colorectal adenomas in the prospective Nurses' Health Study. Among 257 incident polyp cases and 713 controls, the MTHFR val/val polymorphism [relative risk (RR) = 1.35, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.84-2.17] was not significantly associated with risk of adenomas. This lack of association was observed for both small (RR = 1.36, 95% CI 0.76-2.45) and large (RR = 1.32, 95% CI 0.66-2.66) adenomas. Furthermore, there was no significant interaction between this polymorphism and consumption of either folate, methionine or alcohol. We also examined the relationship of a newly identified polymorphism (asp919gly) of the methionine synthase gene (MS) with the risk of colorectal adenomas in the same population. The MS gly/gly polymorphism was also not significantly associated with risk of colorectal adenomas (RR = 0.66, 95% CI 0.26-1.70). These results, which need to be confirmed in other studies, suggest that the MTHFR val/val polymorphism, which has been previously inversely associated with risk of colorectal cancer, plays a role only in a late stage (adenoma-->carcinoma) of colorectal tumorigenesis, and/or may protect against malignant transformation in the subset of benign adenomas, which may progress to malignancy.

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Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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