The Art of Cytology
by Suzanne L. Adams, CT (ASCP)
. Dedicated to Education and Research in Nutrition and Disease Prevention
Helping to Build Strong Genes and Healthy Cells
On the web promoting cellular health and nutrition since 1998



Transcription Factors / Normal Cells / Folic Acid/B12 / Hormone Effect / Atrophic Gastritis / HPV / Carotenoids
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Excerpt from the Art of Cytology Book


Involvement in Gene Regulation and Cell Proliferation 
      Transcription factors are proteins that bind to DNA near its start site or "regulatory region" where it begins to transcribe a gene.  They regulate gene expression by either facilitating or inhibiting the enzyme RNA polymerase in the initiation and maintenance of transcription. Certain micronutrients such as folic acid, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin C, and vitamin E, bind to their specific nuclear receptor proteins and act as or activate transcription factors to mediate gene expression in the regulation of cell proliferation within the cell cycle (Kim YI, 2005, Kato S, 2000, Maden M, 2000, de Nigris F, 2000, Meier CA,1997, Slansky JE,1996Sullivan TA,1994, Hashimoto Y, 1991).

Types of Transcription Factors
      Some of these regulating proteins (transcription factors) act as "tumor suppressor genes" as they have the ability to suppress uncontrolled cell proliferation, an event that is central to the development of cancer.  The tumor suppressor gene p53, a transcription factor considered to be the most frequently mutated gene in human cancer, blocks cell cycle progression (cell division) and induces apoptosis (cell death).  In this way p53 suppresses tumor growth (Werner H,1996). Zinc molecules form zinc finger proteins that act to stabilize the shape of p53, keeping it from being mutated so that it can function fully (Kihara C, 2000).  Retinoic acid, an active form of vitamin A, also stimulates p53 activity as well as the transcription factor and tumor suppressor gene Rb (retinoblastoma protein or p105) (Um SJ,2000). It also appears to be involved in the stimulation of B1 cells and T cells in early immune response to pathogens (Maruya, M, 2011).  Other transcription factors (eg: Fos and Jun) stimulate gene expression in key protein molecules (eg: interluekin-2 secreted by activated T-cells) involved in proper cell-mediated immune response. Still others are involved in stimulating the development of certain embryonic organs such as WT-1 which initiates the formation of the gonads and kidneys in the fetus (Gilbert SF, 1997). 

Importance of Diet
       It is important that the human body receive an abundance of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables, and whole grains on a daily basis in order to have an adequate supply of micronutrients to function in the control of cell proliferation and differentiation. Ongoing research continues to support the hypothesis that dietary factors significantly influence the incidence of human malignancies and disease processes (Weisburger JH, 2001 &2000, Otsuka M, 2000, Willett WC, 999). Leading health authorities are urging all people to increase their consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains in order to strengthen their resistance to chronic diseases, yet many are not complying with this recommendation (Cerully JL, 2006, Cavadini C, 2000).

Decline of the Human Diet
       In recent years, American diets, as well as others such as in the United Kingdom and Australia, have deteriorated, particularly among adolescents, with carbonated soft drinks replacing juices and milk, and high fat red meats and salty french fries replacing fish and green/orange vegetables. Very few diets in the modern world contain the recommended five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, especially raw and unprocessed. Daily fruit and vegetable consumption among children and adolescents often falls well below five servings (Magarey A, 2001, Cavadini C, 2000).  Intake of whole grain foods, which are also rich sources of antioxidant and B vitamins, has also been found to be lacking in the American diet. On average, Americans consume only one serving or less per day of whole-grains, far below the FDA's daily recommendation of three servings Slavin JL, 2001). Most diets studied in developed countries, especially those of the elderly, women, and youth, have been found to be deficient in at least calcium, zinc, folic acid, iron, vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin C (Fenech M. 2001, Marshall TA, 2001, Stang J, 2000, Giddens JB, 2000). The typical modern diet is not only devoid of essential micronutrients, but also contains potentially harmful chemicals such as pesticides, preservatives, hormones, antibiotics, and other drugs that in themselves require additional micronutrients in order to be broken down and disposed of effectively. The modern human diet in general has declined significantly from that of early man where wild game, fish, and uncultivated plant foods high in phytochemicals and micronutrients were the main constituents. Our genome, however, remains essentially unchanged, requiring this ancestral diet or these elements in the same ratio to promote health and prevent disease (Eaton SB, 2000). If current dietary trends continue, particularly among our youth, researchers predict the health of future generations will most likely be seriously compromised (Cavadini C, 2000).

The Need for a Dietary Micronutrient Upgrade
      Mortality statistics from the WHO database covering the period of 1960 to 1990 support only one diet, the traditional Greek Mediterranean diet, high in antioxidants from such foods as olive oil, fruits, vegetables, and wild plants, as a diet that is beneficial to health and longevity (Trichopoulou A, 2000, Trichopoulou A, 2003). It has been roughly estimated that up to 25% of colorectal cancers, about 15% of the breast cancers, and about 10% of prostate, pancreas, and endometrial cancers could be prevented if developed Western countries shifted to the traditional healthy Mediterranean diet (Trichopoulou A, 2000). A daily multiple vitamin/mineral supplement provides an essential safeguard against cancer and various diseases, especially in individuals on the typical modern-day cooked and processed, high fat Western diet.

Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and All-Cause Mortality: a Dose-Response Analysis
Real proof diets high in vegetables and fruits prolong life


Proteins Being Made on the Rough Endoplasmic
Reticulum (RER) within the Cell Cytoplasm

Protein Synthesis

     Proteins are continuously being made and assembled in a consistent and accurate manner within somatic cells provided all the raw materials are available (eg: amino acids, micronutrients, transcription factors, etc). These proteins create enzymes that stimulate key regulatory genes (eg: tumor suppressor gene p53) that express or suppress cell division and differentiation. If key elements are not present in sufficient quantities during the process of transcription and cell division, mutations can occur, creating defects which can manifest as diseases and developmental abnormalities such as birth defects and cancer.

      RNA, present in all living cells, controls protein synthesis within the cytoplasm. It transports and translates genetic information from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. There are three types of RNAŚribosomal, messenger, and transfer RNA. All are formed within the nucleolus by transcription (copying of specific portions of chromosomal DNA), and enter the cytoplasm through the nuclear pores.


cell drawing
3D Drawing of a Cell

See also this Video on
Control of the Cell Cycle


How the Body Regulates High Levels of CO2 in the Blood
Transcription factor Phox2b involved

Micronutrient Deficiencies. A Major Cause of DNA Damage

International Collaboration Highlights New Mechanism Explaining How Cancer Cells Spread
Transcription factors key

MRI, On A Molecular Scale
Researchers develop system that could one day peer into the atomic structure of individual molecules

Virus-Fighting Genes Linked to Mutations in Cancer
Genetic evidence supports role of gene family in cancer development

UT Southwestern Cancer Biologists Link Tumor Suppressor Gene to Stem Cells

Mutations in Cancer Often Affect the X Chromosome

The Role of 'Master Regulators' in Gene Mutations and Disease
Researchers identify key proteins that help establish cell function

MicroRNA Molecule Found to Be a Potent Tumor-Suppressor in Lung Cancer

Skin Cell Defect is Surprising Allergy Trigger
Skin and food allergies can be result of skin cell 'glue' deficiency

How Untying Knots Promotes Cancer

Major Study Links Aging Gene to Blood Cancer

How DNA Repair Helps Prevent Cancer
Researchers at MSU use TACC supercomputers to understand DNA bending and repair mechanisms

RNA Fragments May Yield Rapid, Accurate Cancer Diagnosis

Recreating Natural Complex Gene Regulation

Caught in the Act: Researchers Capture Key Moments in Cell Death

Changes to DNA On-Off Switches Affect Cells' Ability to Repair Breaks, Respond to Chemotherapy

Aberrant DNA Methylation Profiles in the Premature Aging Disorders
Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria and Werner syndrome

Aging Cells Lose Their Grip on DNA Rogues

'Super' Enzyme Protects Against Dangers of Oxygen

Enzyme Helps Cancer Cells Avoid Genetic Instability

The Factor that Could Determine Future Breast Cancer Treatment

Chromosome 'Anchors' Organize DNA During Cell Division

The Key (Proteins) to Self-Renewing Skin

Scientists Identify Major Source of Cells' Defense Against Oxidative Stress

New Research Could Stop Tumor Cells from Spreading

Tanning Gene Linked to Increased Risk of Testicular Cancer, According to NIH Scientists

How environmental factors (eg: nutrients, chemicals) effects the expression of our genes

How Does Epigenetics Shape Lives?

Epigenetic Control of Cardiogenesis

Epigenetic Drugs: A Hope to Treat Cancer Resistance and Reduce Cancer Relapse?

Fetal Stress Disrupts the Way Genes are Transmitted
New research in suggests that a disruption of genetic imprinting often happens prenatally,
implicating fetal stressors as long-term risk factor for chronic disease

Immunotherapy and Epigenetics:
American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting

Scientists Reprogram Cancer Cells with Low Doses of Epigenetic Drugs

Cancer Epigenetics: Breakthrough in ID'ing Target Genes

Epigenetics Proving Orthodox Oncology Wrong About Vitamins

Micronutrient Deficiencies: A Major Cause of DNA Damage

Mediterranean Diet: Once Again Shown to be a Safeguard for Heart Health

Kiwifruit and DNA Repair

Retinoic Acid, Transcription Factor SOX9, and Melanoma

Stop and Go: 'Traffic Policeman' Protein Directs Crucial Step in Cell Division

How Depression Shrinks the Brain
Transcription factors involved

Team Solves Mystery Associated with DNA Repair

Next Page, Folic Acid Deficiency

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No doubt, it's the Creator's diet of choice!

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