To investigate the prevalence of the C677T and A1298C single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene in Caucasian and Hispanic populations, EDTA-anticoagulated whole blood specimens were collected from a total of 100 random patients, 50 Caucasians and 50 Hispanics of Puerto Rican dissent. The prevalence of the two MTHFR SNPs was determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) mediated restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. In the Caucasian population, homozygosity for the MTHFR A1298C SNP was detected in 4% (2/50) of the individuals tested, while 42% (21/50) were heterozygous for this SNP. Among Hispanics, 4% (2/50) were homozygous and 38% (19/50) heterozygous for the A1298C SNP. Homozygosity for the C677T MTHFR SNP was detected in 16% (8/50) and 10% (5/50) of Caucasians and Hispanics, respectively. In this study, the frequency of the C677T heterozygotes was very high at 56% (28/50) and 52% (26/50) Caucasians and Hispanics, respectively. C677T and A1298C are common SNPs in the MTHFR gene. The high prevalence of these SNPs in both Caucasian and Hispanic populations demonstrates the possibility of compounding effects of these SNPs in the pathogenesis of human diseases. While subgroups of patients may exhibit some clinical phenotype linked to these SNPs, our analysis demonstrates the need for careful interpretation of SNP data in the context of population screening.
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