Red meat may increase promutagenic lesions in the colon. Resistant starch (RS) can reduce these lesions and chemically induced colon tumours in rodents. Msh2 is a mismatch repair (MMR) protein, recognising unrepaired promutagenic adducts for removal. We determined if red meat and/or RS modulated DNA adducts or oncogenesis in Msh2-deficient mice. A total of 100 Msh2-/- and 60 wild-type mice consumed 1 of 4 diets for 6 months: control, RS, red meat and red meat + RS. Survival time, aberrant crypt foci (ACF), colon and small intestinal tumours, lymphoma, colonic O6-methyl-2-deoxyguanosine (O6MeG) adducts, methylguanine methyltransferase (MGMT) and cell proliferation were examined. In Msh2-/- mice, red meat enhanced survival compared to control (p < 0.01) and lowered total tumour burden compared to RS (p < 0.167). Msh2-/- mice had more ACF than wild-type mice (p < 0.014), but no colon tumours developed. Msh2-/- increased cell proliferation (p < 0.001), lowered DNA O6MeG adducts (p < 0.143) and enhanced MGMT protein levels (p < 0.001) compared to wild-type mice, with RS supplementation also protecting against DNA adducts (p < 0.01). No link between red meat-induced promutagenic adducts and risk for colorectal cancer was observed after 6 months' feeding. Colonic epithelial changes after red meat and RS consumption with MMR deficiency will differ from normal epithelial cells.
- Methylguanine methyltransferase
- Mismatch repair
- O 6 -methyl-2-deoxyguanosine
- Red meat
- Resistant starch