Plasma homocysteine and polymorphisms of genes involved in folate metabolism correlate with DNMT1 gene methylation levels

Fabio Coppedè, Andrea Stoccoro, Pierpaola Tannorella, Lucia Migliore

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DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) is responsible for the maintenance of DNA methylation patterns during cell division. Several human diseases are characterized by impaired DNMT1 gene methylation, but less is known about the factors that regulate DNMT1 promoter methylation levels. Dietary folates and related B-vitamins are essential micronutrients for DNA methylation processes, and we performed the present study to investigate the contribution of circulating folate, vitamin B12, homocysteine, and common polymorphisms in folate pathway genes to the DNMT1 gene methylation levels. We investigated DNMT1 gene methylation levels in peripheral blood DNA samples from 215 healthy individuals. All the DNA samples were genotyped for MTHFR 677C > T (rs1801133) and 1298A > C (rs1801131), MTRR 66A > G (rs1801394), MTR 2756A > G (rs1805087), SLC19A1 (RFC1) 80G > A (rs1051266), TYMS 28-bp tandem repeats (rs34743033) and 1494 6-bp insertion/deletion (indel) (rs34489327), DNMT3A-448A > G (rs1550117), and DNMT3B-149C > T (rs2424913) polymorphisms. Circulating homocysteine, folate, and vitamin B12 levels were available from 158 of the recruited individuals. We observed an inverse correlation between plasma homocysteine and DNMT1 methylation levels. Furthermore, both MTR rs1805087 and TYMS rs34743033 polymorphisms showed a statistically significant effect on DNMT1 methylation levels. The present study revealed several correlations between the folate metabolic pathway and DNMT1 promoter methylation that could be of relevance for those disorders characterized by altered DNA methylation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number298
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • DNA methylation
  • DNA methyltransferase
  • DNMT1
  • Epigenetics
  • Folate
  • Homocysteine
  • MTR
  • Polymorphisms
  • TYMS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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