CUP Undergraduate Research


The Effects of Folic Acid on Prostate Cancer Cells: Variations in DNA Methylation of the GSTP-l

Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2009

Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis


College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences


Math & Science

Degree Name

Biology, BA

First Advisor

Dr. Rici Hallstrand


Realizing the nutritional contents of the foods we eat and the effects they have on our bodies is a useful tool for us to have to live long and healthy lives. Diet is now becoming an important research focus of potential cures and preventatives of different diseases and cancers as well. Folate is a water soluble B vitamin most commonly found in the diet through green leafy vegetable intake as folic acid in cereals and other products. This research looks at folate’s role as a DNA methylating agent for the GSTP-1 tumor suppressor usually found silenced in LNCaP human prostate cell lines. This protocol was used to observe the methylation status of these cells through the use of bi-sulfite treatment of the DNA followed by methylation specific PCR techniques. It was shown that higher levels of folate can correlate to higher levels of DNA methylation of GSTP1 in LNCaP cells. Using a lower than recommended dose of folic acid over time can lower the amount of methylation. This suggests perhaps the possibility of re-expressing a once silenced gene by just adjusting diet.

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