, Volume 22, Issue 9, pp 1243-1258
Date: 12 Jul 2011

Genetic variants in the folate pathway and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia

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Folate is involved in the one-carbon metabolism that plays an essential role in the synthesis, repair, and methylation of DNA. We examined whether child’s germline genetic variation in the folate pathway is associated with childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and whether periconception maternal folate and alcohol intake modify the risk.


Seventy-six single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), including 66 haplotype-tagging SNPs in 10 genes (CBS, DHFR, FOLH1, MTHFD1, MTHFR, MTR, MTRR, SHMT1, SLC19A1, and TYMS), were genotyped in 377 ALL cases and 448 controls. Log-additive associations between genotypes and ALL risk were adjusted for age, sex, Hispanic ethnicity (when appropriate), and maternal race.


Single and haplotype SNPs analyses showed statistically significant associations between SNPs located in (or adjacent to) CBS, MTRR, TYMS/ENOFS, and childhood ALL. Many regions of CBS were associated with childhood ALL in Hispanics and non-Hispanics (p < 0.01). Levels of maternal folate intake modified associations with SNPs in CBS, MTRR, and TYMS.


Our data suggest the importance of genetic variability in the folate pathway and childhood ALL risk.

C. Metayer and G. Scélo share first authorship.