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J Exp Biol. 2015 Jan 1;218(Pt 1):59-70. doi: 10.1242/jeb.107110.

Epigenetic linkage of aging, cancer and nutrition.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1300 University Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.
2
Department of Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1300 University Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1530 3rd Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1802 6th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA Nutrition Obesity Research Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1675 University Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA Comprehensive Diabetes Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1825 University Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA trygve@uab.edu.

Abstract

Epigenetic mechanisms play a pivotal role in the expression of genes and can be influenced by both the quality and quantity of diet. Dietary compounds such as sulforaphane (SFN) found in cruciferous vegetables and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) in green tea exhibit the ability to affect various epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) inhibition, histone modifications via histone deacetylase (HDAC), histone acetyltransferase (HAT) inhibition, or noncoding RNA expression. Regulation of these epigenetic mechanisms has been shown to have notable influences on the formation and progression of various neoplasms. We have shown that an epigenetic diet can influence both cellular longevity and carcinogenesis through the modulation of certain key genes that encode telomerase and p16. Caloric restriction (CR) can also play a crucial role in aging and cancer. Reductions in caloric intake have been shown to increase both the life- and health-span in a variety of animal models. Moreover, restriction of glucose has been demonstrated to decrease the incidence of age-related diseases such as cancer and diabetes. A diet rich in compounds such as genistein, SFN and EGCG can positively modulate the epigenome and lead to many health benefits. Also, reducing the quantity of calories and glucose in the diet can confer an increased health-span, including reduced cancer incidence.

KEYWORDS:

Aging; Cancer; Diet; Epigenetics; Nutrition

PMID:
25568452
PMCID:
PMC4286704
DOI:
10.1242/jeb.107110
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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