The 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) and thymidylate synthase (TS) are critical enzymes in folate metabolism. Previous studies have reported conflicting results on the associations between MTHFR/TS polymorphisms and adult leukemia risk, which may due to the lack of information on folate intake. We investigated the risks of adult leukemia with genetic polymorphisms of folate metabolic enzymes (MTHFR C677T, A1298C, and TS) and evaluated if the associations varied by dietary folate intake from a multicenter case-control study conducted in Chinese. This study comprised 442 incident adult leukemia cases and 442 outpatient controls, individually matched to cases by gender, birth quinquennium, and study site. Genotypes were determined by a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or PCR-based restriction fragment length polymorphism assay. Dietary folate intake was assessed by face-to-face interviews using a validated food-frequency questionnaire. The MTHFR 677TT genotype conferred a significant higher risk of leukemia in males than in females and exhibited an increased risk of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) but a decreased risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The MTHFR 1298AC genotype appeared to decrease the risks of leukemia in both genders, in AML and ALL. Stratified analysis by dietary folate intake showed the increased risks of leukemia with the MTHFR 677TT and TS 2R3R/2R2R genotypes were only significant in individuals with low folate intake. A significant interaction between TS polymorphism and dietary folate intake was observed (P = 0.03). This study suggests that dietary folate intake and gender may modify the associations between MTHFR/TS polymorphisms and adult leukemia risk.
Liu, P., Zhang, M., Xie, X., Jin, J., & Holman, DA. (2016). Polymorphisms of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase and thymidylate synthase, dietary folate intake, and the risk of leukemia in adulta. TUMOUR BIOLOGY, 37(3), 3265-3275. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13277-015-4168-6