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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Severe and mild mutations in cis for the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene, and description of five novel mutations in MTHFR.

Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) catalyzes the synthesis of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, a methyl donor in the conversion of homocysteine to methionine. Patients with severe MTHFR deficiency have hyperhomocysteinemia, hypomethioninemia, and a range of neurological and vascular findings with a variable age at onset. We have previously described nine mutations in patients with severe MTHFR deficiency. A mild form of MTHFR deficiency, associated with a thermolabile enzyme, has been proposed as a genetic risk factor for cardiovascular disease and for neural tube defects. We have shown that a common missense mutation (an alanine-to-valine substitution) encodes this thermolabile variant. We now report an additional five mutations causing severe MTHFR deficiency and an analysis of genotype (alanine/valine status) and enzyme thermolability in 22 patients with this inborn error of metabolism. Six of these patients have four mutations in the MTHFR gene-two rare mutations causing severe deficiency and two mutations for the common alanine-to-valine mutation that results in thermolability. Even in severe MTHFR deficiency, the thermolabile variant is frequently observed, and there is a strong relationship between the presence of this variant and increased enzyme thermolability.[1]


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