Increased T-Allele Frequency of 677 C > T Polymorphism in the Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase Gene in Differentiated Thyroid Carcinoma
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Background: Epigenetic alterations in the global DNA methylation status may be associated with an increased risk of some cancer types in humans. The methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene is involved in folic acid metabolism and plays an essential role in inherited DNA methylation profiles. The common 677 C > T and 1298 A > C polymorphisms in the MTHFR gene cause the production of a thermolabile enzyme with reduced function and, eventually, genomic DNA hypomethylation. The current preliminary study was designed to determine the association between germ-line polymorphism in the MTHFR gene and differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC). Methods: In the current case-control study of 60 thyroid carcinomas (TC); 45 papillary TC, 9 follicular TC, and 6 DTC of an uncertain malignant potential were examined. Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral blood with EDTA, genotyped by a multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction. Results: An elevated 2.33-fold risk was observed for DTC in individuals with the 677TT genotype when compared with the control group (odds ratio [OR]: 1.92, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.03-3.58). Current DTC patients showed similar results as a control group for the 1298 A > C allele. No significant risk was detected for the homozygous 1298CC genotype (CC vs. AA or AC) (OR: 1.30, 95% CI: 0.73-2.29). Conclusion: The current results are supportive of the hypothesis that the homozygous MTHFR 677TT genotype increases the risk factor of developing thyroid cancer, and further large-scale studies are needed to validate this association.