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1.  Claudin-1 Expression Is Elevated in Colorectal Cancer Precursor Lesions Harboring the BRAF V600E Mutation12 
Translational Oncology  2014;7(4):456-463.
BACKGROUND: Sessile serrated adenomas/polyps (SSA/P) are now recognised precursors of colorectal cancer (CRC) including cancers harbouring somatic BRAF (V600E) mutations. While the morphological diagnostic criteria of SSA/P have been established, distinguishing between small/early SSA/P and microvesicular hyperplastic polyps (MVHP) is challenging and may not be possible in routine practice. METHODS: Gene expression profiling of MVHP (n=5, all BRAF V600E wild-type) and SSA/P (n=5, all BRAF V600E mutant) samples was performed. Quantitative reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and immunohistochemical analysis was performed to verify the expression of claudin 1 (CLDN1) in MVHP and SSA/P. RESULTS: Gene expression profiling studies conducted between MVHP and SSA/P identified CLDN1 as the most statistically significant differentially expressed gene (p<0.05). Validation with qRT-PCR confirmed an up-regulation of CLDN1 in BRAF V600E mutant polyps regardless of polyp type (p<0.0005). Immunohistochemical analysis of CLDN1 expression in BRAF V600E mutant SSA/Ps (n=53) and MVHPs (n=111) and BRAF wild-type MVHPs (n=58), demonstrated a strong correlation between CLDN1 expression and the BRAF V600E mutation in both SSA/P and MVHP samples when compared to wild-type polyps (p<0.0001). CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates an up regulation of CLDN1 protein in serrated colorectal polyps including MVHP harbouring the BRAF V600E mutation. Our results demonstrated an apparent heterogeneity on the molecular level within the MVHP group and suggest that MVHP with somatic BRAF V600E mutation and up-regulated expression of CLDN1 are closely related to SSA/P and may in fact represent a continuous spectrum of the same neoplastic process within the serrated pathway of colorectal carcinogenesis.
doi:10.1016/j.tranon.2014.05.009
PMCID: PMC4202803  PMID: 24954356
2.  Colorectal Carcinogenesis: A Cellular Response to Sustained Risk Environment 
The current models for colorectal cancer (CRC) are essentially linear in nature with a sequential progression from adenoma through to carcinoma. However, these views of CRC development do not explain the full body of published knowledge and tend to discount environmental influences. This paper proposes that CRC is a cellular response to prolonged exposure to cytotoxic agents (e.g., free ammonia) as key events within a sustained high-risk colonic luminal environment. This environment is low in substrate for the colonocytes (short chain fatty acids, SCFA) and consequently of higher pH with higher levels of free ammonia and decreased mucosal oxygen supply as a result of lower visceral blood flow. All of these lead to greater and prolonged exposure of the colonic epithelium to a cytotoxic agent with diminished aerobic energy availability. Normal colonocytes faced with this unfavourable environment can transform into CRC cells for survival through epigenetic reprogramming to express genes which increase mobility to allow migration and proliferation. Recent data with high protein diets confirm that genetic damage can be increased, consistent with greater CRC risk. However, this damage can be reversed by increasing SCFA supply by feeding fermentable fibre as resistant starch or arabinoxylan. High protein, low carbohydrate diets have been shown to alter the colonic environment with lower butyrate levels and apparently greater mucosal exposure to ammonia, consistent with our hypothesis. Evidence is drawn from in vivo and in vitro genomic and biochemical studies to frame experiments to test this proposition.
doi:10.3390/ijms140713525
PMCID: PMC3742201  PMID: 23807509
ammonia; colorectal cancer; dietary protein; resistant starch; short chain fatty acid
3.  Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics: Viewpoints on the Current Status and Applications in Nutrition Research and Practice 
Nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics hold much promise for providing better nutritional advice to the public generally, genetic subgroups and individuals. Because nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics require a deep understanding of nutrition, genetics and biochemistry and ever new ‘omic’ technologies, it is often difficult, even for educated professionals, to appreciate their relevance to the practice of preventive approaches for optimising health, delaying onset of disease and diminishing its severity. This review discusses (i) the basic concepts, technical terms and technology involved in nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics; (ii) how this emerging knowledge can be applied to optimise health, prevent and treat diseases; (iii) how to read, understand and interpret nutrigenetic and nutrigenomic research results, and (iv) how this knowledge may potentially transform nutrition and dietetic practice, and the implications of such a transformation. This is in effect an up-to-date overview of the various aspects of nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics relevant to health practitioners who are seeking a better understanding of this new frontier in nutrition research and its potential application to dietetic practice.
doi:10.1159/000327772
PMCID: PMC3121546  PMID: 21625170
Dietetics; Nutrigenetics; Nutrigenomics; Nutrition Research; Personalised nutrition

Results 1-3 (3)