5,10-Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase codon 677 and 1298 polymorphisms and colon cancer in African Americans and whites.Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2002; 11(12):1611-21CE
We evaluated polymorphisms in methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), folate intake and alcohol consumption in relation to risk of colon cancer in a population-based case-control study in North Carolina. The study included 555 cases (244 African Americans and 311 whites) and 875 controls (331 African Americans and 544 whites). Total folate intake of <400 versus > or =400 microg/day showed a weak positive association with colon cancer among both African Americans [adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.0-2.0] and whites (OR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.2-2.2). No association was observed with use of alcohol. Compared with wild-type genotypes, there was no association between the low activity MTHFR codon 677 TT genotype and colon cancer, but the low activity codon 1298 CC genotype was inversely associated with colon cancer in whites (OR = 0.5, 95% CI = 0.3-0.9). Unlike previous studies, we did not observe a strong protective effect of the codon 677 TT low-activity genotype when folate intake was high. Instead, we observed an increased risk of colon cancer when folate intake was low for participants with wild- type genotypes. Adjusted ORs for the combined effects of codon 677 CC and codon 1298 AA genotypes and folate intake <400 microg/day were 1.9 (95% CI = 1.1-3.4) in African Americans and 2.5 (95% CI = 1.2-5.2) in whites. Our results suggest that variation at MTHFR codon 1298 (within the COOH-terminal region) may be more important for colon cancer than variation at codon 677 (NH(2)-terminal region), and in populations where folate intake is low, wild-type MTHFR activity may increase risk for colon cancer.