Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase polymorphisms, serum methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase levels, and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia in a Chinese population

Cancer Sci. 2010 Mar;101(3):782-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1349-7006.2009.01429.x. Epub 2009 Nov 11.


Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), involved in DNA methylation and nucleotide synthesis, is thought to be associated with a decreased risk of adult and childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Accumulating evidence has indicated that two common genetic variants, C677T and A1298C, are associated with cancer risk. We hypothesized that these two variants were associated with childhood ALL susceptibility and influence serum MTHFR levels. We genotyped these two polymorphisms and detected MTHFR levels in a case-control study of 361 cases and 508 controls. Compared with the 677CC and 677CC/CT genotypes, the 677TT genotype was associated with a statistically significantly decreased risk of childhood ALL (odds ratio = 0.53, 95% confidence interval = 0.32-0.88, and odds ratio = 0.55, 95% confidence interval = 0.35-0.88, respectively). In addition, a pronounced reduced risk of ALL was observed among low-risk ALL and B-phenotype ALL. Moreover, the mean serum MTHFR level was 8.01 ng/mL (+/-4.38) in cases and 9.27 ng/mL (+/-4.80) in controls (P < 0.001). MTHFR levels in subjects with 677TT genotype was significantly higher than those with 677CC genotype (P = 0.010) or 677CT genotype (P = 0.043) in controls. In conclusion, our results provide evidence that the MTHFR polymorphisms might contribute to reduced childhood ALL risk in this population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (NADPH2) / blood
  • Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (NADPH2) / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / enzymology
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / etiology
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / genetics*
  • Risk


  • Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (NADPH2)