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Epigenetics: Diet and Cancer

Journal: Austin Journal of Genetics and Genomic Research (Vol.3, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 1-7

Keywords : Epigenetics; Nutrition; Cancer; DNA methylation; Histone modifications; Micro RNA;

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Epigenetic modifications including DNA methylation, histone modifications and RNA interference (RNAi) provide a significant impact on human health and disease development. Changes in epigenetic functions result in disturbance in gene regulation and aberrant gene expression, which strongly contributes to progression of various types of cancers. The reversible nature of epigenetic functions has made them attractive as targets for drug development. In this context, DNA methyltransferase inhibitors and histone deacetylase inhibitors have been targeted against cancers. RNAi, specifically microRNAs (miRNAs) have demonstrated differential expression including up-regulation and downregulation in a number of cancers. Furthermore, miRNA levels in biofluids (serum and urine) provide opportunities for diagnostic applications of epigenetics. Nutrition has been demonstrated to have a substantial impact on epigenetic mechanisms. Dramatic changes in dietary intake have been shown to affect epigenetic functions and might provide the means for a significant reduction in cancer risk and also may contribute to disease prevention. Furthermore, revision of diet in cancer patients has resulted in changes in gene expression, which can enhance therapeutic efficacy. Especially, diets rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and fibers and reduction in consummation of red meat have influenced the epigenome and thereby provide both prophylactic and therapeutic efficacy.

Last modified: 2017-03-24 18:50:48