Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name



Nutrition and Food Science

First Advisor

Ahmad R. Heydari


The condition of folate deficiency has been implicated in carcinogenesis, with the strongest evidence formulated in colon cancer. The role of folate in DNA repair, DNA synthesis and methylation reactions renders this nutrient an valuable target for studying the onset and progression of cancer. Using molecular techniques to determine gene and protein expression, enzyme activity and methylation status elucidates the mechanism of DNA repair and damage in folic acid deficient animals in response to carcinogen. The findings presented in this study indicate failure to remove and repair damage in the condition of folate deficiency and suggest that the accumulation of DNA base lesions and damage can result in clonogenic selection of initiated cells, driving carcinogenesis.