Hello! you have reached the official blog spot of our lab which is based at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Department of Urology - our main area of study is prostate cancer, nutrition, and epigenetics - but we also study changes in gene expression in benign-prostatic hyperplasia - we have made this blog so as we can share thoughts about the lab, papers that are just published and anything else remotely relevant at any time, and from anywhere!
Friday, November 4, 2011
One-carbon metabolism and breast cancer epigenetics!
something tells me the one-carbon epi field is about to heat up.... read all about it in this month's Epigenetics --
The influence of one-carbon metabolism on gene promoter methylation in a population-based breast cancer study.
Xu X, Gammon MD, Jefferson E, Zhang Y, Cho YH, Wetmur JG, Teitelbaum SL, Bradshaw PT, Terry MB, Garbowski G, Hibshoosh H, Neugut AI, Santella RM, Chen J.
Abnormal methylation in gene
promoters is a hallmark phenomenon of the cancer genome including breast
cancer; however, factors that may influence promoter methylation have
not been well elucidated. One-carbon metabolism provides the universal
methyl donor for methylation reactions; perturbation of one-carbon
metabolism might influence DNA methylation and ultimately, affect gene
functions. Utilizing ~800 breast cancer tumor tissues from a large
population-based study, we investigated the relationships of dietary and
genetic factors involved in the one-carbon metabolism pathway with
promoter methylation of a panel of 13 breast cancer related genes. We
found CCND2, HIN1 and CHD1 are the more "dietary sensitive" as their
promoter methylation was associated with intakes of at least two out of
eight dietary methyl factors examined. On the other hand, some
micronutrients (i.e. B 2 and B 6) are more "epigenetically active" as
their intake levels were correlated with promoter methylation status of 3
out of 13 breast cancer genes. Both positive (hypermethylation) and
inverse (hypomethylation) associations with high micronutrient intakes
were observed. Unlike the dietary factors, we did not observe any clear
patterns between one-carbon genetic polymorphism and promoter
methylation status of the genes examined. Our results provide
preliminary evidence that one-carbon metabolism may have the capacity to
influence the breast cancer epigenome. Given that epigenetic
alterations are thought to occur early in cancer development and
potentially reversible, dietary intervention may offer promising venues
for cancer intervention and prevention.