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Epigenetic Mechanisms of Maternal Dietary Protein and Amino Acids Affecting Growth and Development of Offspring

Author(s):

Yi Wu, Zhibin Cheng*, Yueyu Bai* and Xi Ma*   Pages 1 - 9 ( 9 )

Abstract:


Nutrients can regulate metabolic activities of living organisms through epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, histone modification, and RNA regulation. Since the nutrients required for early embryos and postpartum lactation are derived in whole or in part from maternal and lactating nutrition, the maternal nutritional level affects the growth and development of the fetus and creates a profound relationship between disease development and early environmental exposure in the offspring’s later life. Protein is one of the most important biological macromolecules, involved in almost every process of life, such as information transmission, energy processing and material metabolism. Maternal protein intake levels may affect the integrity of the fetal genome, and alter DNA methylation and gene expression. Most amino acids are supplied to the fetus from the maternal circulation through active transport of placenta. Some amino acids, such as methionine, as dietary methyl donor, play an important role in DNA methylation and body’s one-carbon metabolism. The purpose of this review is to describe effects of maternal dietary protein and amino acid intake on fetal and neonatal growth and development through epigenetic mechanisms, with examples in humans and animals.

Keywords:

maternal nutrition, epigenetic mechanism, offspring, protein, amino acids, DNA methylation.

Affiliation:

China Agricultural University - State Key Lab of Animal Nutrition, College of Animal Science and Technology Beijing, College of Animal Science and Technology, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming, Yunan 650201, China Agricultural University - State Key Lab of Animal Nutrition, College of Animal Science and Technology Beijing, China Agricultural University - State Key Lab of Animal Nutrition, College of Animal Science and Technology Beijing



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