Send to

Choose Destination
Carcinogenesis. 2005 Jun;26(6):1064-76. Epub 2005 Mar 3.

Butyrate may enhance toxicological defence in primary, adenoma and tumor human colon cells by favourably modulating expression of glutathione S-transferases genes, an approach in nutrigenomics.

Author information

Department of Nutritional Toxicology, Institute for Nutrition, Friedrich-Schiller-University, Dornburger Strasse 25, D-07743 Jena, Germany.


Butyrate, formed by bacterial fermentation of plant foods, has been suggested to reduce colon cancer risks by suppressing the proliferation of tumor cells. In addition, butyrate has been shown to induce glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) in tumor cell lines, which may contribute to the detoxification of dietary carcinogens. We hypothesize that butyrate also affects biotransformation in non-transformed colon cells. Thus, we have investigated the gene expression of drug metabolism genes in primary human colon tissue, premalignant LT97 adenoma and HT29 tumor cells cultured in an appropriate medium+/-butyrate. A total of 96 drug metabolism genes (including 12 GSTs) spotted on cDNA macroarrays (Superarray; n = 3) were hybridized with biotin-labeled cDNA probes. To validate the expression detected with Superarray, samples of LT97 cells were also analyzed with high density microarrays (Affymetrix U133A), which include biotransformation genes that overlap with the set of genes represented on the Superarray. Relative expression levels were compared across colon samples and for each colon sample+/-butyrate. Compared with fresh tissue, 13 genes were downregulated in primary cells cultivated ex vivo, whereas 8 genes were upregulated. Several genes were less expressed in LT97 (40 genes) or in HT29 (41 and 17 genes, grown for 72 and 48 h, respectively) compared with primary colon tissue. Butyrate induced GSTP1, GSTM2, and GSTA4 in HT29 as previously confirmed by other methods (northern blot/qPCR). We detected an upregulation of GSTs (GSTA2, GSTT2) that are known to be involved in the defence against oxidative stress in primary cells upon incubation with butyrate. The changes in expression detected in LT97 by Superarray and Affymetrix were similar, confirming the validity of the results. We conclude that low GST expression levels were favourably altered by butyrate. An induction of the toxicological defence system possibly contributes to reported chemopreventive properties of butyrate, a product of dietary fibre fermentation in the gut.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center