Journal Article

Promotion of intestinal carcinogenesis by dietary methionine

Benoit Duranton, Jean-Noël Freund, Michel Galluser, René Schleiffer, Francine Gossé, Christian Bergmann, Michel Hasselmann and Francis Raul

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 20, issue 3, pages 493-497
Published in print March 1999 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online March 1999 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Promotion of intestinal carcinogenesis by dietary methionine

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The metabolism of the polyamines spermidine and spermine is known to be enhanced in rapidly proliferating cells. Methionine is a precursor of the aminopropyl moieties of these amines. Therefore, it was of interest to study the effects of a methionine supplemented diet on polyamine metabolism and preneoplastic changes occurring in the intestinal tract of rats treated with the chemical carcinogen azoxymethane (AOM). Adult Wistar rats received 15 mg AOM/kg body wt (i.p.) once each week for 2 weeks. Thereafter, the rats were randomly divided into two groups and received controlled isoenergetic diets containing the same amount of folate, choline and vitamin B12 during 12 weeks: one group was kept on a standard diet; the other was fed the same diet, except that 1% L-methionine was added at the expense of carbohydrates. After 12 weeks, the administration of the methionine-supplemented diet stimulated the turnover rate of ileal epithelial cells, indicating enhanced crypt cell proliferation. Furthermore, in this group, a 2-fold increase in the number of aberrant hyperproliferative crypts and the appearance of tumors was observed in the colon. These effects were accompanied by the increased formation of spermidine and spermine due to the enhancement of S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase activity and by the upregulation of Cdx-1, a homeobox gene with oncogenic potentials. The experimental data do not support the view of a chemopreventive effect of dietary methionine supplementation on intestinal carcinogenesis in rats, even at an early phase of preneoplastic development, but rather suggest that methionine promotes intestinal carcinogenesis.

Keywords: AdoMetDC, S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase; AOM, azoxymethane; DAO, diamine oxidase; ODC, ornithine decarboxylase.

Journal Article.  3945 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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