Arsenic methylation capacity in relation to nutrient intake and genetic polymorphisms in one-carbon metabolism

Brenda Gamboa-Loira, César Hernández-Alcaraz, A. Jay Gandolfi, Mariano E. Cebrián, Ana Burguete-García, Angélica García-Martínez, Lizbeth López-Carrillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Nutrients and genetic polymorphisms participating in one-carbon metabolism may explain interindividual differences in inorganic arsenic (iAs) methylation capacity, which in turn may account for variations in susceptibility to iAs-induced diseases. Objectives: 1) To evaluate the association between polymorphisms in five one-carbon metabolism genes (FOLH1 c.223 T > C, MTHFD1 c.1958 G > A, MTHFR c.665 C > T, MTR c.2756 A > G, and MTRR c.66 A > G) and iAs methylation capacity; 2) To assess if previously reported associations between nutrient intake and iAs methylation capacity are modified by those polymorphisms. Methods: Women (n = 1027) exposed to iAs in Northern Mexico were interviewed. Blood and urine samples were collected. Nutrient dietary intake was estimated using a validated food frequency questionnaire. iAs methylation capacity was calculated from urinary iAs species (iAs, monomethylarsonic acid [MMA] and dimethylarsinic acid [DMA]) measured by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC-ICP-MS). One polymorphism in each of the five genes evaluated was genotyped by allelic discrimination. Multivariable linear regression models were used to evaluate if genetic polymorphisms modified the associations between iAs methylation capacity parameters and nutrient intake. Results: The median (min-max) concentration of total arsenic (TAs) was 20.2 (1.3–2776.0) µg/g creatinine in the study population. Significant interactions for iAs metabolism were only found with FOLH1 c.223 T > C polymorphism and vitamin B12 intake, so that CT and CC genotype carriers had significantly lower %iAs, and higher DMA/iAs with an increased vitamin B12 intake, as compared to carriers of wild-type TT. Conclusion: Differences in dietary nutrient intake and genetic variants in one-carbon metabolism may jointly influence iAs methylation capacity. Confirmation of these interactions in other populations is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-23
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Research
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • Arsenic metabolism
  • Inorganic arsenic
  • Micronutrients
  • Northern Mexico
  • Polymorphisms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Environmental Science


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