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Eur J Cancer Prev. 2016 Jan;25(1):54-64. doi: 10.1097/CEJ.0000000000000141.

Synergic chemoprevention with dietary carbohydrate restriction and supplementation of AMPK-activating phytochemicals: the role of SIRT1.

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aSeverance Biomedical Science Institute bDepartment of Nuclear Medicine cDepartment of Internal Medicine dLiver Cirrhosis Clinical Research Center eDepartment of Pathology fBrain Korea 21 PLUS for Medical Science gDepartment of Microbiology hYonsei Institute for Cancer Research, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


Calorie restriction or a low-carbohydrate diet (LCD) can increase life span in normal cells while inhibiting carcinogenesis. Various phytochemicals also have calorie restriction-mimetic anticancer properties. We investigated whether an isocaloric carbohydrate-restriction diet and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-activating phytochemicals induce synergic tumor suppression. We used a mixture of AMPK-activating phytochemical extracts including curcumin, quercetin, catechins, and resveratrol. Survival analysis was carried out in a B16F10 melanoma model fed a control diet (62.14% kcal carbohydrate, 24.65% kcal protein and 13.2% kcal fat), a control diet with multiple phytochemicals (MP), LCD (16.5, 55.2, and 28.3% kcal, respectively), LCD with multiple phytochemicals (LCDmp), a moderate-carbohydrate diet (MCD, 31.9, 62.4, and 5.7% kcal, respectively), or MCD with phytochemicals (MCDmp). Compared with the control group, MP, LCD, or MCD intervention did not produce survival benefit, but LCDmp (22.80±1.58 vs. 28.00±1.64 days, P=0.040) and MCDmp (23.80±1.08 vs. 30.13±2.29 days, P=0.008) increased the median survival time significantly. Suppression of the IGF-1R/PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling, activation of the AMPK/SIRT1/LKB1pathway, and NF-κB suppression were the critical tumor-suppression mechanisms. In addition, SIRT1 suppressed proliferation of the B16F10 and A375SM cells under a low-glucose condition. Alterations in histone methylation within Pten and FoxO3a were observed after the MCDmp intervention. In the transgenic liver cancer model developed by hydrodynamic transfection of the HrasG12V and shp53, MCDmp and LCDmp interventions induced significant cancer-prevention effects. Microarray analysis showed that PPARα increased with decreased IL-6 and NF-κB within the hepatocytes after an MCDmp intervention. In conclusion, an isocaloric carbohydrate-restriction diet and natural AMPK-activating agents induce synergistic anticancer effects. SIRT1 acts as a tumor suppressor under a low-glucose condition.

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