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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Boston, Massachusetts » Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging » Research » Research Project #436491

Research Project: Dietary Strategies for Cancer Prevention

Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Project Number: 8050-51000-106-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: May 14, 2019
End Date: Mar 11, 2024

Vitamins and Carcinogenesis Lab Objective 1: Define the cellular pathways by which obesity, obesigenic diets, and the intake of the 1-carbon nutrients modulate the risk of developing cancers of the colorectum and other common cancers in both animal models and human samples, and exploit these mechanistic insights in order to devise targeted means of mitigating cancer risk. • Sub-objective 1A: Determine whether the pro-inflammatory/pro-carcinogenic NF'B pathway plays the predominant role in mediating the obesity-promoted increased risk of colorectal carcinogenesis. • Sub-objective 1B: Determine whether supplemental levels of dietary vitamin B6 provide additional suppression of obesity-promoted tumorigenesis and colonic inflammation when combined with curcumin + salsalate, beyond that provided by the two latter agents alone. Objective 2: Examine how modifications in the microbiome alter biochemical and molecular processes that lead to colorectal cancer, and explore how intentional manipulations of the microbiome, or its products, can be exploited for cancer prevention. Objective 3: In both genetic and chemically-induced rodent models of colorectal carcinogenesis examine whether select alternative protein sources (e.g. insect-based foodstuffs) suppress pro-carcinogenic pathways and tumorigenesis compared to soy protein and other dietary sources of protein more common in the American diet. Nutrition and Cancer Biology Lab Objective 1: Investigate mechanistically the anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic effect of phytochemical-rich whole food approaches, and purified phytochemicals as well as their derivatives, in preventing inflammation-promoted (e.g., induced by a high-sugar diet, diabetes, and aging) cancer development. Objective 2: Determine the ability of phytochemical-rich whole foods and dietary phytochemicals to prevent cancer development in liver and colon by targeting multiple signaling pathways (e.g. membrane and nuclear receptors) and inter-organ crosstalk (among liver, pancreas, mesenteric adipose tissue, and gut microbiome).

Vitamins and Carcinogenesis Lab We will identify novel strategies by which colorectal cancer (CRC), and other cancers that commonly afflict elderly Americans, can be prevented. Our aim is to lessen the risk that accompanies cancer-promoting features typifying the U.S. diet, such as its obesigenic character and emphasis on processed animal meat. Using a combination of in vitro experiments and animal models we identify biochemical and molecular pathways that mediate the effects of specific nutrients or dietary patterns on carcinogenesis. We then identify means of modulating those pathways to mitigate cancer risk. We will examine how the inflammatory state created by obesity and high-fat diets activates procancerous pathways in the colon. We are exploring the use of pharmacologic, nutritional, and microbial agents to block those pathways. The third objective is an exploratory aim, designed to generate preliminary data. We will examine whether substituting protein-rich powder derived from roasted crickets attenuates the enhanced risk of CRC that accompanies the habitual consumption of processed meats which are a prominent source of protein in the American diet. This strategy has the added value of promoting food sustainability. Our research will provide novel avenues for reducing the societal burden of common age-related cancers. Nutrition and Cancer Biology Lab We will conduct animal studies to investigate how one dietary phytochemical, xanthophyll beta-cryptoxanthin (BCX), inhibits metabolic syndrome, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) development in the liver. Of particular interest is understanding how BCX prevents the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in rodents consuming a diet high in refined carbohydrates (HRCD). We will examine the protective effects of intact BCX, independent of its metabolites, regulating key cell signaling pathways in both young and old animals. We will examine multiple organs (liver, pancreas, adipose tissue, and gut) as well as how these organs communicate, while noting gender differences. Specifically, we will use genetically-altered carotenoid cleavage enzyme (beta-carotene 15,15’-oxygenase and beta-carotene 9’,10’-oxygenase) double knockout mice strains to determine whether HRCD-induced liver metabolic syndrome and tumorigenesis can be prevented by intact BCX itself or sweet red pepper extract (SRPE)-rich in BCX. We will treat mice (male and female) with a single injection of a hepatic carcinogen, diethylnitrosamine (DEN), followed by continued exposure to HRCD with or without BCX (or SRPE) intervention. We will examine the effects of dietary BCX intervention against fatty liver, inflammation, fibrosis, and in livers. We will investigate the protective effects of xanthophyll BCX against HRCD-promoted HCC in both young and old mice respectively. We will determine if the BCX protective action process a common mechnism or pathway, such as intestinal permeability/gap junction/adipose/liver axis, salvage pathway of NAD+ biosynthesis enzyme, and circadian transcription factors, and thereby reducing aging/metabolic syndrome-associated liver cancer development.