Navigation Links
U of I scientists develop tool to trace metabolism of cancer-fighting tomato compounds
Date:11/29/2010

URBANA The University of Illinois scientists who linked eating tomatoes with a reduced risk of prostate cancer have developed a tool that will help them trace the metabolism of tomato carotenoids in the human body. And they've secured funding from the National Institutes of Health to do it.

"Scientists believe that carotenoidsthe pigments that give the red, yellow, and orange colors to some fruits and vegetablesprovide the cancer-preventive benefits in tomatoes, but we don't know exactly how it happens," said John W. Erdman, a U of I professor of human nutrition.

The researchers will use isotopic labeling of three tomato carotenoids with heavier carbon atoms than are commonly seen in nature, which will allow tracking of the tomato components' absorption and metabolism in the body, he said.

"We have two questions we'd like to answer. First, are the carotenoids themselves bioactive, or are their metabolic or oxidative products responsible for their benefits? Second, is lycopene alone responsible for the tomato's benefits, or are other carotenoids also important?" he said.

Previous Erdman animal studies have shown that whole tomato powder, which contains all of the fruit's nutritional components, is more effective against prostate cancer than lycopene alone.

"Lycopene, which gives the fruit its red color, has received a lot of attentionit's even advertised as an ingredient in multivitamin supplements, but two little-known colorless carotenoids, phytoene and phytofluene, probably also have benefits," said Nancy Engelmann, a doctoral student in Erdman's laboratory who helped to develop the new method.

Engelmann learned to optimize the amount of carotenoids in tomato cell cultures by treating already high-achieving tomato varieties with two plant enzyme blockers. The best performers were then chosen for culturing and carbon-13 labeling, she said.

The scientists grew tomato cells with non-radioactive carbon-13 sugars, yielding carbon molecules that are heavier than the 12-carbon molecules that exist elsewhere, Erdman said.

"These heavy carbon molecules are then incorporated into the carotenoids in the tomato cell cultures. The result is that researchers will be able to track the activity of lycopene, phytoene, and phytofluene and their metabolites," he said.

Thanks to NIH funding, U of I researchers and colleagues at The Ohio State University are preparing to use this new tool to study carotenoid metabolism in humans.

"It's exciting that we now have the means to pull off this human study. It's work that should move us forward in the fight against prostate cancer," he said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Phyllis Picklesimer
p-pickle@illinois.edu
217-244-2827
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Jefferson scientists deliver toxic genes to effectively kill pancreatic cancer cells
2. Scientists identify novel inhibitor of human microRNA
3. Argonne scientists peer into heart of compound that may detect chemical, biological weapons
4. MU scientists go green with gold, distribute environmentally friendly nanoparticles
5. Scientists identify gene that may contribute to improved rice yield
6. Scientists discover why a mothers high-fat diet contributes to obesity in her children
7. MU scientists see how HIV matures into an infection
8. Earth scientists keep an eye on Texas
9. Thinking it through: Scientists call for policy to guide biofuels industry toward sustainability
10. Scientists identify a molecule that coordinates the movement of cells
11. Scientists Find new migratory patterns for Mediterranean and Western Atlantic bluefin tuna
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/29/2017)... -- higi, the health IT company that operates the largest ... , today announced a Series B investment from BlueCross ... new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s strategy to create ... health activities through the collection and workflow integration of ... and secures data today on behalf of over 36 ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... The Controller General of Immigration from Maldives Mr. ... have received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the most innovative ... ... Maldives Immigration ... Algeen (small picture on the right) have received the IAIR award for ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , Mar. 23, 2017 Research and ... System Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" ... ... grow at a CAGR of around 8.8% over the next decade ... industry report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... ... The recent vote by the American Medication Association to align with the World ... hopefully sheds new light on the way health insurers, governments and the public view ... of Texas Fertility Center . , “This designation is something we have ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... June 27, 2017 , ... Biodex Medical Systems, Inc. announces ... in one device. This assistive aid lifts patients safely from a seated to a ... lift mechanics. The Mobility Assist is the latest in a line of Biodex products ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... June 27, 2017 , ... Indiana-based Xylogenics announced ... production and fermentation process. The efficiencies created by the newest strain design ... notably the ethanol industry wherein individual production plants are planning to invest upwards ...
(Date:6/26/2017)... ... June 26, 2017 , ... NDA Partners Chairman ... Director of Product Development R&D at Allergan and CMC expert with more than ... and established biopharma companies, has joined the firm as an Expert Consultant. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: