Global leukocyte DNA methylation is similar in African American and Caucasian women under conditions of controlled folate intake.


DNA methylation is an epigenetic feature that may modify disease risk, and can be influenced by folate status as well as by methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T genotype. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of ethnicity/race on global leukocyte DNA methylation under conditions of controlled folate intake. Caucasian (n = 14) and African American (n = 14) women (18 - 45 y) possessing the MTHFR 677CC genotype consumed a folate restricted diet (135 mug/d as dietary folate equivalents, DFE) for 7 week followed by folate treatment with 400 or 800 microg DFE/d for 7 week. Global leukocyte DNA methylation was assessed via the cytosine extension assay at baseline (wk 0), after folate restriction (wk 7) and after folate treatment (wk 14). Ethnicity/race was not a determinant of global leukocyte DNA methylation. No differences (p > 0.05) were detected in DNA methylation between African American and Caucasian women at baseline or any other study time point. In addition, folate intake did not modify global leukocyte DNA methylation. These data suggest that global leukocyte DNA methylation does not differ between Caucasian and African American women and that short-term folate restriction is not sufficient to modify methylation content in young women with the MTHFR 677CC genotype.

  • Axume J
  • Caudill MA
  • Moriarty DJ
  • Pogribny IP
  • Smith SS
PubMed ID
Appears In
Epigenetics, 2007, 2 (1)