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The thermolabile variant of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase is a possible risk factor for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis


Kühnlein, P; Jung, H H; Farkas, M; Keskitalo, S; Ineichen, B; Jelcic, I; Petersen, J; Semmler, A; Weller, M; Ludolph, A C; Linnebank, M (2011). The thermolabile variant of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase is a possible risk factor for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, 12(2):136-139.

Abstract

Abstract Hyperhomocysteinemia is a risk factor for neurodegeneration, and binding of copper by homocysteine is a putative underlying mechanism. As mutations of the copper-dependent superoxide dismutase are observed in familial ALS, we tested whether genetic variants with influence on homocysteine metabolism are associated with ALS. We compared the frequency of seven variants of genes involved in homocysteine metabolism in 162 patients with sporadic ALS and 162 controls who did not significantly differ in age (t = 1.27, p = 0.205) and gender (χ(2) = 2.48, p = 0.115) using binary regression analysis. Results showed that the variant MTHFR c.677C>T was significantly associated with ALS, i.e. the T-allele was more frequent among patients. Explorative regression analysis revealed that MTHFR c.677C>T was not associated with spinal ALS, but with bulbar onset: CC/CT/TT in patients 0.33/0.51/0.16 versus 0.50/0.44/0.06 in controls; Wald = 5.73, p = 0.017. In addition, DHFR c.594+59del19bp was not associated with spinal, but with bulbar onset: del,del/del,ins/ins,ins in patients 0.16/0.67/0.18 versus 0.11/0.52/0.37 in controls; Wald = 5.02, p = 0.025. The other variants did not show significant associations. In summary, the variants MTHFR c.677C>T and DHFR c.594+59del19bp are involved in homocysteine metabolism. Homocysteine is neurotoxic and binds copper. Thus, the individual variability of homocysteine metabolism, e.g. due to genetic variants, may contribute to the vulnerability of ALS.

Abstract Hyperhomocysteinemia is a risk factor for neurodegeneration, and binding of copper by homocysteine is a putative underlying mechanism. As mutations of the copper-dependent superoxide dismutase are observed in familial ALS, we tested whether genetic variants with influence on homocysteine metabolism are associated with ALS. We compared the frequency of seven variants of genes involved in homocysteine metabolism in 162 patients with sporadic ALS and 162 controls who did not significantly differ in age (t = 1.27, p = 0.205) and gender (χ(2) = 2.48, p = 0.115) using binary regression analysis. Results showed that the variant MTHFR c.677C>T was significantly associated with ALS, i.e. the T-allele was more frequent among patients. Explorative regression analysis revealed that MTHFR c.677C>T was not associated with spinal ALS, but with bulbar onset: CC/CT/TT in patients 0.33/0.51/0.16 versus 0.50/0.44/0.06 in controls; Wald = 5.73, p = 0.017. In addition, DHFR c.594+59del19bp was not associated with spinal, but with bulbar onset: del,del/del,ins/ins,ins in patients 0.16/0.67/0.18 versus 0.11/0.52/0.37 in controls; Wald = 5.02, p = 0.025. The other variants did not show significant associations. In summary, the variants MTHFR c.677C>T and DHFR c.594+59del19bp are involved in homocysteine metabolism. Homocysteine is neurotoxic and binds copper. Thus, the individual variability of homocysteine metabolism, e.g. due to genetic variants, may contribute to the vulnerability of ALS.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neurology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Date:March 2011
Deposited On:12 Mar 2011 13:58
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:37
Publisher:Informa Healthcare
ISSN:1471-180X
Additional Information:This is an electronic version of an article published in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis 2011 12:2, 136-139 . Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is available online at: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/full/10.3109/17482968.2010.536985
Publisher DOI:10.3109/17482968.2010.536985
Official URL:http://informahealthcare.com/doi/pdf/10.3109/17482968.2010.536985
PubMed ID:21128869
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-43004

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