The importance of hyperhomocysteinemia, birth defects, and vascular diseases has been the subject of intense investigations. The polymorphic MTHFR mutations (C677T and A1298C) cause mild hyperhomocysteinemia, especially in homozygotes for C677T, but also in compound heterozygotes for C677T/A1298C. The subject of this report is the frequency of the polymorphic mutations in the MTHFR gene C677T, C1298A, and newly discovered mutation G1793A, as well as the association with MTRR polymorphic site A66G in different ethnic groups. Four ethnic groups were studied: African-Americans, Caucasians, Hispanics, and Ashkenazi Jews. There are statistically significant differences in the frequency of these alleles in the different populations studied, which impacts compound heterozygosity for such alleles in these populations. DNA samples obtained from the blood of healthy individuals of African-Americans, Hispanics, and Caucasians from south Texas were analyzed and compared to those obtained from Ashkenazi Jewish individuals. The polymorphic site, the G1793A allele, is least frequent among Ashkenazi individuals, 1.3%, compared to 6.9% among Caucasians (P = 0.001), 5.8% among Hispanics (P = 0.012), and 3.1% among African-Americans. The MTRR polymorphlc site shows the lowest allele frequency among Hispanics, 28.6%, compared to 34% among African-Americans, 43.1% among Ashkenazi Jews (P = 0.002), and 54.4% among Caucasians (P < 0.0001). Statistically significant differences in allele frequencies of C677T and C1298A polymorphisms were also observed in these populations. Compound heterozygosity for multiple polymorphic alleles may play a role in birth defects and vascular diseases.
- Ethnic groups
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