Geographical and Ethnic Distributions of the MTHFR C677T, A1298C and MTRR A66G Gene Polymorphisms in Chinese Populations: A Meta-Analysis

Background

The geographical and ethnic distributions of the polymorphic methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) mutations (C677T and A1298C) and methionine synthase reductase (MTRR) mutation (A66G) remain heterogeneous in China. The goal of this study was to estimate the pooled frequencies of the alleles and associated genotypes of these gene polymorphisms among healthy populations in Mainland China.

Objective and Methods

We systematically reviewed published epidemiological studies on the distributions of 3 genetic variants in Chinese healthy populations living in Mainland China through a meta-analysis. The relevant electronic databases were searched. All of the raw data of the eligible citations were extracted. The frequency estimates were stratified by geography, ethnicity and sex.

Results

Sixty-six studies were identified with a total of 92277 study participants. The meta-analysis revealed that the frequencies of the MTHFR C677T, A1298C, and MTRR A66G gene polymorphisms varied significantly between different ethnic groups and along geographical gradients. The frequencies of the 677T allele and 677TT genotype increased along the southern-central-northern direction across Mainland China (all Pvalues≤0.001). The frequencies of the 1298C, 1298CC, 66G and 66GG genotypes decreased along the south-central-north direction across the country (all Pvalues≤0.001).

Conclusions

Our meta-analysis strongly indicates significant geographical and ethnic variations in the frequencies of the C677T, A1298C, and A66G gene polymorphisms in the folate metabolism pathway among Chinese populations.