Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name



Nutrition and Food Science

First Advisor

Ahmad Heydari


Colorectal cancer (CRC) constitutes a major burden on the healthcare system as the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in the developed world. Dietary folate is considered an important modulator of colorectal cancer. Folate restriction has been implicated in increasing CRC incidence by disrupting nucleotide synthesis, Impacting DNA methylation and inducing genetic instability. Our research shows that the timing and duration of dietary folate restriction can differentially impact Colorectal cancer initiation. Acclimating mice to folate restriction for 8 weeks results in a reduced number of preneoplastic lesions compared to mice placed of folate restriction for 1 week prior to initiating the carcinogenic treatment. Analysis of the mTOR pathway revealed distinct differences in crucial target proteins between the two conditions. Furthermore, we noted differences in the expression of key DNA methyltransferases impacting global methylation.