One-carbon metabolism-related gene polymorphisms and risk of breast cancer

Takeshi Suzuki, Keitaro Matsuo, Kaoru Hirose, Akio Hiraki, Takakazu Kawase, Miki Watanabe, Toshinari Yamashita, Hiroji Iwata, Kazuo Tajima

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101 Citations (Scopus)


Environmental exposures and/or genetic background in Japanese population, which might contribute to the relatively low breast cancer incidence rates in Japan, have not been clarified in detail. Folate plays an essential role in DNA methylation and synthesis, and thus may be involved in the development of breast cancer. Functional polymorphisms in genes encoding one-carbon metabolism enzymes, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR C677T), methionine synthase (MTR A2756G), methionine synthase reductase (MTRR A66G) and thymidylate synthase (TS), influence folate metabolism, but epidemiological studies have yielded inconsistent findings. We therefore conducted a case-control study to clarify their associations with breast cancer risk. A total of 456 breast cancer cases and 912 age-matched and menopausal status-matched non-cancer controls were genotyped for the polymorphisms. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using conditional logistic models adjusted for potential confounders and gene-environment interactions between the polymorphisms and folate consumption were also evaluated. We observed an increased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer with the MTHFR 677TT genotype (OR = 1.83, 95% CI: 1.08-3.11) with a menopausal status-based analysis. In combination analysis, a significantly elevated OR was found among postmenopausal women with the MTHFR 677TT genotype and lower intake of dietary folate compared with those with 677CC genotype and adequate folate consumption (OR = 2.80, 95% CI: 1.11-7.07). In addition, interaction between the MTRR A66G polymorphism and folate intake for risk of postmenopausal breast cancer was observed (interaction P = 0.008). Our findings indicated that the MTHFR and MTRR polymorphisms were associated with individual susceptibility to breast cancer among postmenopausal women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-362
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 02-2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cancer Research


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