March 25, 2020

Diet, Cancer Radiation Finding Earns Best Paper for TRI KL2 Scholar

UAMS Translational Research Institute (TRI) KL2 Scholar Isabelle Racine Miousse, Ph.D., is the lead author on a publication selected as the best research paper in the March issue of the American Journal of Physiology – Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology.

The selection was announced by the American Physiological Society APSselect.

Miousse is an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the UAMS College of Medicine. The title of her paper is “Methionine dietary supplementation potentiates ionizing radiation-induced gastrointestinal syndrome.” Its co-authors are Laura E. Ewing, M.S., Charles M. Skinner, B.S., Rupak Pathak, Ph.D., Sarita Garg, Ph.D., Kristy R. Kutanzi, Ph.D., Stepan Melnyk, Ph.D., Martin Hauer-Jensen, M.D., Ph.D., and Igor Koturbash, M.D., Ph.D., senior author.

The team found that in mice, high levels of the amino acid methionine in the diet increased the amount of damage to the gut caused by radiation. It suggests that a diet high in methionine (found in meat, fish and dairy), such as a typical Western diet, may worsen gastrointestinal side effects from radiation therapy. This, in turn, may prevent cancer patients from receiving the most effective doses of radiation therapy.

The KL2 Mentored Research Career Development Award Program is supporting Miousse’s research in improving survival in patients with metastatic melanoma by exploiting cancer cells’ dependence on methionine. KL2 scholars receive two years of research support, including 75 percent salary support and $25,000 per year for research, tuition, travel and education materials in support of the scholar’s career development plan.