Pleiotropic responses to methionine restriction

Ables GP, Johnson JE

Exp. Gerontol. 2017 Jan;

PMID: 28108330


Methionine restriction (MR) extends lifespan across different species. The main responses of rodent models to MR are well-documented in adipose tissue (AT) and liver, which have reduced mass and improved insulin sensitivity, respectively. Recently, molecular mechanisms that improve healthspan have been identified in both organs during MR. In fat, MR induced a futile lipid cycle concomitant with beige AT accumulation, producing elevated energy expenditure. In liver, MR upregulated fibroblast growth factor 21 and improved glucose metabolism in aged mice and in response to a high-fat diet. Furthermore, MR also reduces mitochondrial oxidative stress in various organs such as liver, heart, kidneys, and brain. Other effects of MR have also been reported in such areas as cardiac function in response to hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy), identification of molecular mechanisms in bone development, and enhanced epithelial tight junction. In addition, rodent models of cancer responded positively to MR, as has been reported in colon, prostate, and breast cancer studies. The beneficial effects of MR have also been documented in a number of invertebrate model organisms, including yeast, nematodes, and fruit flies. MR not only promotes extended longevity in these organisms, but in the case of yeast has also been shown to improve stress tolerance. In addition, expression analyses of yeast and Drosophila undergoing MR have identified multiple candidate mediators of the beneficial effects of MR in these models. In this review, we emphasize other in vivo effects of MR such as in cardiovascular function, bone development, epithelial tight junction, and cancer. We also discuss the effects of MR in invertebrates.

Methionine-restricted diet inhibits growth of MCF10AT1-derived mammary tumors by increasing cell cycle inhibitors in athymic nude mice

Hens JR, Sinha I, Perodin F, Cooper T, Sinha R, Plummer J, Perrone CE, Orentreich D

BMC Cancer 2016;16(1):349

PMID: 27255182


BACKGROUND: Dietary methionine restriction (MR) improves healthspan in part by reducing adiposity and by increasing insulin sensitivity in rodent models. The purpose of this study was to determine whether MR inhibits tumor progression in breast cancer xenograft model and breast cancer cell lines.

METHODS: Athymic nude mice were injected with MCF10AT1 cells in Matrigel® and fed a diet containing either 0.86 % methionine (control fed, CF), or 0.12 % methionine (MR) for 12 weeks. Plasma amino acid concentrations were measured by UPLC, and proliferation and apoptosis were examined using RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry, and Cell Titer 96® Aqueous One Solution Cell Proliferation assay.

RESULTS: Mice on the MR diet had reduced body weight and decreased adiposity. They also had smaller tumors when compared to the mice bearing tumors on the CF diet. Plasma concentrations of the sulfur amino acids (methionine, cysteine, and taurine) were reduced, whereas ornithine, serine, and glutamate acid were increased in mice on the MR diet. MR mice exhibited decreased proliferation and increased apoptosis in cells that comprise the mammary glands and tumors of mice. Elevated expression of P21 occurred in both MCF10AT1-derived tumor tissue and endogenously in mammary gland tissue of MR mice. Breast cancer cell lines MCF10A and MDA-MB-231 grown in methionine-restricted cysteine-depleted media for 24 h also up-regulated P21 and P27 gene expression, and MDA-MB-231 cells had decreased proliferation.

CONCLUSION: MR hinders cancer progression by increasing cell cycle inhibitors that halt cell cycle progression. The application of MR in a clinical setting may provide a delay in the progression of cancer, which would provide more time for conventional cancer therapies to be effective.

Dietary methionine restriction inhibits prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia in TRAMP mice

Sinha R, Cooper TK, Rogers CJ, Sinha I, Turbitt WJ, Calcagnotto A, Perrone CE, Richie JP

Prostate 2014 Dec;74(16):1663-73

PMID: 25250521


BACKGROUND: Prostate cancer (PCa) is a major aging-related disease for which little progress has been made in developing preventive strategies. Over the past several years, methionine restriction (MR), the feeding of a diet low in methionine (Met), has been identified as an intervention which significantly extends lifespan and reduces the onset of chronic diseases, including cancer, in laboratory animals. We, therefore, hypothesized that MR may be an effective strategy for inhibiting PCa.

METHODS: Control (0.86% Met) or MR (0.12% Met) diets were fed to 5-week old TRansgenic Adenocarcinoma of the Mouse Prostate (TRAMP) mice, a well-characterized model for PCa. The mice were sacrificed at 16 weeks of age and prostate and other tissues were harvested for histological and biochemical analyses.

RESULTS: As previously reported, MR was associated with a decrease in body weight which was not associated with lowered food intake. MR led to significant reductions in the development of Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia (PIN) lesions, specifically in the anterior and dorsal lobes of the prostate where the incidence of high-grade PIN was reduced by ∼50% (P < 0.02). The reduction in PIN severity was associated with 46-64% reductions in cell proliferation rates (P < 0.02) and plasma IGF-1 levels (P < 0.0001), which might, in part, explain the effects on carcinogenesis. Additionally, no adverse consequences of MR on immune function  were observed in the TRAMP mice.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, these findings indicate that MR is associated with a reduction in prostate cancer development in the TRAMP model and supports the continued development of MR as a potential PCa prevention strategy.

Association of prediagnostic serum vitamin D levels with the development of basal cell carcinoma

Asgari MM, Tang J, Warton ME, Chren MM, Quesenberry CP, Bikle D, Horst RL, Orentreich N, Vogelman JH, Friedman GD

J. Invest. Dermatol. 2010 May;130(5):1438-43

PMID: 20043012


We investigated the association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels and basal cell carcinoma (BCC) risk in a nested case-control study at Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC). A total of 220 case patients with BCC diagnosed after serum collection were matched to 220 control subjects. We estimated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using conditional logistic regression. Fully adjusted models included body mass index (BMI), smoking, education, sun-exposure variables, X-ray exposure, and personal history of cancer. For each measure of serum 25(OH)D (continuous, clinically relevant tertiles, quintiles), we found an increased risk of BCC in unadjusted models (OR=1.03, 95% CI 1.00-1.05, P<0.05; OR=3.98, 95% CI: 1.31-12.31, deficient vs. sufficient, test for trend P-value <0.01; OR=2.32, 95% CI: 1.20-4.50, 1st vs. 5th quintile, test for trend P-value 0.03). In fully adjusted models, the values attenuated slightly (OR=1.02, 95% CI 1.00-1.05, P<0.05; OR=3.61, 95% CI: 1.00-13.10, deficient vs. sufficient, t-trend P=0.03; OR=2.09 1st vs. 5th quintile, 95% CI: 0.95-4.58, t-trend P=0.11). Our findings suggest that higher prediagnostic serum 25(OH)D levels may be associated with increased risk of subsequent BCC. Further studies to evaluate the effect of sun exposure on BCC and serum 25(OH)D levels may be warranted.