Common variant in FUT2 gene is associated with levels of vitamin B12 in Indian population

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Vitamin B12 is an essential micronutrient synthesized by microorganisms. Mammals including humans have evolved ways for transport and absorption of this vitamin. Deficiency of vitamin B12 (either due to low intake or polymorphism in genes involved in absorption and intracellular transport of this vitamin) has been associated with various complex diseases. Genome-wide association studies have recently identified several common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in fucosyl transferase 2 gene (FUT2) to be associated with levels of vitamin B12-the strongest association was with a non-synonymous SNP rs602662 in this gene. In the present study, we attempted to replicate the association of this SNP (rs602662) in an Indian population since a significant proportion has been reported to have low levels of vitamin B12 in this population. A total of 1146 individuals were genotyped for this SNP using a single base extension method and association with levels of vitamin B12 was assessed in these individuals. Regression analysis was performed to analyze the association considering various confounding factors like for age, sex, diet, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and coronary artery disease status. We found that the SNP rs602662 was significantly associated with the levels of vitamin B12 (p value<0.0001). We also found that individuals adhering to a vegetarian diet with GG (homozygous major genotype) have significantly lower levels of vitamin B12 in these individuals. Thus, our study reveals that vegetarian diet along with polymorphism in the FUT2 gene may contribute significantly to the high prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency in India. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.




Tanwar, V. S., Chand, M. P., Kumar, J., Garg, G., Seth, S., Karthikeyan, G., & Sengupta, S. (2013). Common variant in FUT2 gene is associated with levels of vitamin B12 in Indian population. Gene, 515(1), 224–228.

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