MAT1A variants are associated with hypertension, stroke, and markers of DNA damage and are modulated by plasma vitamin B-6 and folate

Chao Qiang Lai*, Laurence D. Parnell, Aron M. Troen, Jian Shen, Heather Caouette, Daruneewan Warodomwichit, Yu Chi Lee, Jimmy W. Crott, Wei Qiao Qiu, Irwin H. Rosenberg, Katherine L. Tucker, José M. Ordovás

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background: The S-adenosylmethionine synthetase type 1 (MAT1A) gene encodes a key enzyme in one-carbon nutrient metabolism. Objective: This study aimed to determine the association of MAT1A variants with homocysteine, DNA damage, and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Design: Eight variants of MAT1A were examined for associations with hypertension, stroke, CVD, homocysteine, and DNA damage in 1006 participants of the Boston Puerto Rican Health Study. Two variants were replicated in 1147 participants of the Nutrition, Aging, and Memory in Elders Study. Results: Two variants and haplotypes were strongly associated with hypertension and stroke, independent of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) variants. Homozygotes of the MAT1A d18777A (rs3851059) allele had a significantly greater likelihood of stroke (odds ratio: 4.30; 95% CI: 1.34, 12.19; P = 0.006), whereas 3U1510A (rs7087728) homozygotes had a lower likelihood of hypertension (odds ratio: 0.67; 95% CI: 0.48, 0.95; P = 0.022) and stroke (odds ratio: 0.35; 95% CI: 0.15, 0.82; P = 0.015). A similar trend of association was observed in a second elderly population. Furthermore, strong interactions between MAT1A genotypes and vitamin B-6 status were found. Carriers of the nonrisk allele 3U1510A had a lower 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine concentration - a biomarker of oxidative DNA damage - when plasma vitamin B-6 was high, whereas homozygotes for the risk-allele 3U1510G had higher 8- hydroxydeoxyguanosine concentrations, regardless of vitamin B-6 status. Conclusions: MAT1A variants were strongly associated with hypertension and stroke. Improving folate and vitamin B-6 status might decrease the CVD risk of only a subset of the population, depending on genotype. These findings suggest that impairments in methylation activity, independent of homocysteine, have an effect on CVD risk.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1377-1386
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2010
Externally publishedYes


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