March 14, 2019

Cancer Institute Member Spotlight

March 14, 2019

Isabelle Racine Miousse, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
UAMS College of Medicine
Research Interest Statement

Cancer cells fundamentally differ from healthy cells in the way they metabolize the amino acid and methyl donor methionine. This phenomenon is known as methionine dependence. It manifests as an increased reliance on an exogenous supply of methionine for growth and alterations in DNA and histone methylation patterns.

My work investigates these crucial differences between healthy cells and cancer cells. My expertise covers the absorption, processing and utilization of methyl groups, as well as epigenetic changes associated with cancer. I utilize metastatic melanoma models in vitroand in vivo to investigate the molecular bases of methionine dependence, relate dietary methionine levels to changes in the gut environment, and, finally, leverage this knowledge to improve the response rate in patients with metastatic melanoma receiving immunotherapy. With my work, I aim to improve the outcomes of cancer therapy for patients.

Dr. Miousse’s Grants

 Pilot Award, UAMS College of Medicine


01/01/19 – 12/31/19

Methionine and autophagy in metastatic melanoma

*cancer-related annual direct costs

UAMS Collaborators

Alan Tackett, Ph.D. (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)

Igor Koturbash, M.D., Ph.D. (Environmental and Occupational Health)

Stephanie Byrum, Ph.D. (Director of Bioinformatics Core, Arkansas Children’s Research Institute)

Stepan Melnyk, M.D., Ph.D. (Director of the Core Metabolomics Laboratory, Arkansas Children’s Research Institute)

Laxmi Yeruva, Ph.D. (Pediatrics)

Alicia Byrd, Ph.D. (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)

 External Collaborators

David Rosenblatt, M.D., Ph.D. (McGill University)

Alexandra Noel, Ph.D. (LSU School of Veterinary Medicine)

Opportunities for Collaboration

I welcome collaborations on the topics of DNA and histone modifications, as well as methyl donors such as folic acid and vitamin B12. I also have an interest in nutrition and metabolism.

You Might Not Know That …

I have two passions outside of work. I enjoy cooking, for the creative aspect (anything but desserts!) I also enjoy rock climbing for the problem-solving skills it requires and have done that for 10 years.

Cancer-related Publications

Miousse IR, Ewing LE, Kutanzi KR, Griffin RJ, Koturbash I. DNA Methylation in Radiation-Induced Carcinogenesis: Experimental Evidence and Clinical Perspectives. Crit Rev Oncog. 2018;23(1-2):1-11.

Miousse IR, Tobacyk J, Quick CM, Jamshidi-Parsian A, Skinner CM, Kore R, Melnyk SB, Kutanzi KR, Xia F, Griffin RJ, Koturbash I. Modulation of dietary methionine intake elicits potent, yet distinct, anticancer effects on primary versus metastatic tumors. Carcinogenesis. 2018 Sep 21;39(9):1117-1126.

Miousse IR, Pathak R, Garg S, Skinner CM, Melnyk S, Pavliv O, Hendrickson H, Landes RD, Lumen A, Tackett AJ, Deutz NEP, Hauer-Jensen M, Koturbash I. Short-term dietary methionine supplementation affects one-carbon metabolism and DNA methylation in the mouse gut and leads to altered microbiome profiles, barrier function, gene expression and histomorphology. Genes Nutr. 2017 Sep 6;12:22.

Miousse IR, Chang J, Shao L, Pathak R, Nzabarushimana É, Kutanzi KR, Landes RD, Tackett AJ, Hauer-Jensen M, Zhou D, Koturbash I. Inter-Strain Differences in LINE-1 DNA Methylation in the Mouse Hematopoietic System in Response to Exposure to Ionizing Radiation. Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Jul 4;18(7). pii: E1430.

Miousse IR, Tobacyk J, Melnyk S, James SJ, Cheema AK, Boerma M, Hauer-Jensen M, Koturbash I. One-carbon metabolism and ionizing radiation: a multifaceted interaction. Biomol Concepts. 2017 May 24;8(2):83-92.

Miousse IR, Kutanzi KR, Koturbash I. Effects of ionizing radiation on DNA methylation: from experimental biology to clinical applications. Int J Radiat Biol. 2017 May;93(5):457-469.