This research project investigates whether PhIP, or its metabolites, influence cell proliferation and cell growth.
<p>Human breast epithelial cells will be used to examine the effect of PhIP treatment on MAP kinase signal transduction pathways and the functional consequences of the effects using Western blotting, kinase assays, motility assays and changes in transcriptional regulation.
<p>Where possible, concentrations of PhIP used will be similar to those consumed by humans from a cooked meat meal.
Diet has long been recognised as one of the major factors that can influence the development of cancer.
<p>Consumption of meat is positively correlated with human cancer and the cooking of meat is known to generate chemical carcinogens of extreme genotoxic potency, including a family of heterocyclic amines.
<p>The most abundant of these heterocyclic amines, 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP), has been shown to specifically induce tumours of the colon, breast and prostate in rats, which, co-incidentally, are the three commonest sites of diet-associated cancer in Western society.
<p>In realising its mutagenic potential, PhIP requires metabolic activation and induces fundamental changes in the biochemistry of the cell that result in a number of genes being differentially expressed.
<p>The initial consequences of exposure to activated PhIP would seem to involve damage to DNA, but there is also evidence for altered gene expression leading to cell proliferation.
<p>This project seeks to investigate whether PhIP, or its metabolites, influence signal transduction pathways to promote cell proliferation and cell growth.
<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/" target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.