Summary of Awards to Date

Beneficial and adverse effects of natural, bioactive dietary chemicals on human health and food safety (from W1122).

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Date

Oct. 1, 2007 - Sep. 30, 2012

Award Number

ARZT-1370744-R-23-100

Funding Agency

Center for Produce Safety

Investigator

Donato Romagnolo, Ph.D.
University of Arizona

Summary

Besides genetic changes, epigenetic alterations such as histone and DNA modifications have been proposed to play a key role in the onset of a variety of tumors by inducing stable, heritable changes in gene expression. These changes can occur randomly or in response to the environment. For example, in sporadic breast tumors the BRCA-1 promoter is hypermethylated and the expression of BRCA-1 is reduced in the absence of mutations in the BRCA-1 gene. This suggests that hypermethylation caused by environmental signals could participate in establishing and maintaining heritable modifications of BRCA-1 expression that do not involve mutations. This project examines whether epigenetic events reduce the expression of the tumor suppressor gene, BRCA-1 in breast epithelial cells.