Gene polymorphisms of homocysteine metabolism-related enzymes in Chinese patients with occlusive coronary artery or cerebral vascular diseases.
The mutations in homocysteine (Hcy) metabolism-related enzyme genes including methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T, cystathionine beta-synthase (CBS) 844ins68, and methionine synthase (MS) A2756G have been identified as genetic risk factors for thromboembolic events. It has been noticed that these gene mutations have heterogeneous distributions among different ethnic groups or geographic areas. The data on the prevalence of the gene mutations in Chinese population is not yet available. In the present study, we have investigated the frequency of the MTHFR C677T, CBS 844ins68, and MS A2756G mutations in 102 patients with ischemic stroke (IS), 73 patients with myocardial infarction (MI) and 100 healthy controls. The distributive frequencies of the gene variations are as follows: In the IS, MI and control groups, the mutant homozygote for MTHFR C677T is 15 (14.7%), 8 (11.7%) and 16 (16.0%), respectively, and the T allele frequency is 37.7%, 33.6% and 39.5%, respectively; the heterozygote for CBS 844ins68 is 1 (1.0%), 1 (1.4%) and 5 (5.0%), respectively; the heterozygote for MS A2756G is 18 (17.6%), 14 (19.2%) and 17 (17.0%), and the G allele frequency is 8.8%, 11.0% and 9.5%, respectively. The carrier of both MS A2756G and MTHFR C677T (combined mutations) is 14 (12.7%), 8(11.0%) and 12(12.0%), respectively. There is no statistically significant difference between the patient groups and the control group in the frequencies of these single mutation or combined mutations. The heterozygosity of CBS 844ins68 yields an odds ratio (OR) of 0.19 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.02-1.43) for IS and 0.26 (95% CI 0.03-2.31) for MI. The T allele of MTHFR C677T yields an OR of 0.93 for IS (95% CI 0.62-1.39) and 0.77 for MI (95% CI 0.50-1.21). The G allele of MS A2756G yields an OR of 0.92(95% CI 0.47-1.81) for IS and 1.17 (95% CI 0.58-2.37) for MI. Our results suggest that neither single mutation nor combined mutations in MTHFR C677T, CBS 844ins68 and MS A2756G represent an independent risk factor for increasing IS and coronary artery disease risks in Chinese population. However, CBS 844ins68 may be a protective factor against vascular thromboembolic disease. The prevalence of CBS 844ins68 and MS A2756G in Chinese population is obviously lower than in Western Caucasian population.