A chemoprotective fish oil/pectin diet enhances apoptosis via Bcl-2 promoter methylation in rat azoxymethane-induced carcinomas. Academic Article uri icon


  • We have demonstrated that diets containing fish oil and pectin (FO/P) reduce colon tumor incidence relative to control (corn oil and cellulose [CO/C]) in part by inducing apoptosis of DNA-damaged colon cells. Relative to FO/P, CO/C promotes colonocyte expression of the antiapoptotic modulator, Bcl-2, and Bcl-2 promoter methylation is altered in colon cancer. To determine if FO/P, compared with CO/C, limits Bcl-2 expression by enhancing promoter methylation in colon tumors, we examined Bcl-2 promoter methylation, mRNA levels, colonocyte apoptosis and colon tumor incidence in azoxymethane (AOM)-injected rats. Rats were provided diets containing FO/P or CO/C, and were terminated 16 and 34 weeks after AOM injection. DNA isolated from paraformaldehyde-fixed colon tumors and uninvolved tissue was bisulfite modified and amplified by quantitative reverese transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction to assess DNA methylation in Bcl-2 cytosine-guanosine islands. FO/P increased Bcl-2 promoter methylation (P = 0.009) in tumor tissues and colonocyte apoptosis (P = 0.020) relative to CO/C. An inverse correlation between Bcl-2 DNA methylation and Bcl-2 mRNA levels was observed in the tumors. We conclude that dietary FO/P promotes apoptosis in part by enhancing Bcl-2 promoter methylation. These Bcl-2 promoter methylation responses, measured in vivo, contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms involved in chemoprevention of colon cancer by diets containing FO/P.

published proceedings

  • Exp Biol Med (Maywood)

author list (cited authors)

  • Cho, Y., Turner, N. D., Davidson, L. A., Chapkin, R. S., Carroll, R. J., & Lupton, J. R.

citation count

  • 43

complete list of authors

  • Cho, Youngmi||Turner, Nancy D||Davidson, Laurie A||Chapkin, Robert S||Carroll, Raymond J||Lupton, Joanne R

publication date

  • December 2012