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Nutrigenomics seeks to understand the interplay between an individual's genes and their diet. This approach can potentially be harnessed to reduce the incidence or symptoms of chronic diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It becomes desirable to interrogate the vast number of discrete compounds present in foods for their ability to influence the phenotype of a cell carrying a variant single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). Here we describe two cell-based assays that can now be used to test the ability of food components or extracts, to overcome the functional effects of certain variant SNPs that may be important in human IBD. The first monitors the signal transduction pathways of key pattern recognition receptors, in which SNPs associated with IBD have been identified, and tests for food components or extracts that can modulate these pathways for potential therapeutic benefit. The second models the NOD2 3020insC SNP, which is the most common and highest risk variant in Crohn's disease, and examines the ability of food components or extracts to restore the normal phenotype in the mutant cell line. Such screens provide a scientific basis for the rational choice of foods to be more rigorously investigated in animal models of IBD.

Original publication




Journal article


Mutat res

Publication Date





94 - 102


Animals, Cells, Cultured, Diet, Genotype, Humans, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Kidney, Macrophages, Mice, Models, Biological, Mutagenesis, Site-Directed, NF-kappa B, Nod2 Signaling Adaptor Protein, Nutritional Physiological Phenomena, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha