Association between polymorphisms of folate-metabolizing enzymes and risk of prostate cancer

Eur J Surg Oncol. 2008 Jul;34(7):805-10. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2007.09.008. Epub 2007 Oct 29.


Polymorphisms of the genes 5'-10'-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR, 677CT and 1298AC), methionine synthase (MTR, 2756AC) and methionine synthase reductase (MTRR, 66AC) provoke variations in enzyme activity, which can lead to alterations in the metabolism of folates and in the synthesis of S-adenosyl-methionine (SAM), the most active methyl donor in the body. This could play an important role in carcinogenesis through the degree of DNA methylation and of nucleotide synthesis. In the present study, four polymorphisms were studied, two of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene, and the other two of methionine synthase and methionine synthase reductase. Our aim was to study the association between prostate carcinoma susceptibility and these polymorphisms. A hospital-based case-control study was conducted in 182 patients (mean age: 70.7+/-7.29 years) with histologically confirmed prostate carcinoma and in 205 control subjects (mean age: 70.3+/-7.82 years) diagnosed with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral leukocytes. Comparison of the MTHFR CT and TT genotypes in patients and the controls revealed significant differences (0.57 vs 0.38) (OR: 2.19, 95% CI: 1.46-3.30) and (0.06 vs 0.15) (OR: 0.36, 95% CI: 0.17-0.73), respectively. No statistically significant differences were found between patients and controls with respect to the MTHFR 1298AC, the MTR 2756AC and the MTRR 66AC polymorphisms. However, among the patients, the MTR 2756 allele C was related to a high Gleason score. We conclude that the polymorphism MTHFR C677T is clearly related to prostatic carcinogenesis, on the contrary to the other polymorphisms studied, although the MTR 2756 allele C acts as a factor of tumor aggressiveness, this being found in tumors with high carcinogenic potential.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate-Homocysteine S-Methyltransferase / genetics*
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Ferredoxin-NADP Reductase / genetics*
  • Folic Acid / metabolism
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (NADPH2) / genetics*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Spain / epidemiology


  • Folic Acid
  • methionine synthase reductase
  • Ferredoxin-NADP Reductase
  • Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (NADPH2)
  • 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate-Homocysteine S-Methyltransferase