December 4, 2023


Hypothesis: Betaine decreases the pathogenicity of Covid-19.

Role of betaine in inhibiting the induction of RNA Pol III gene transcription and cell growth caused by alcohol



Alcohol has been classified as carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Studies have demonstrated that alcohol intake increases the risk of breast cancer, and alcohol also stimulates breast cancer cell growth. Deregulation of Pol III genes is tightly associated with tumour development. Transcription factor II-B (TFIIB)-related factor 1 (Brf1) is a transcription factor that specifically regulates Pol III gene transcription. Our in vivo and in vitro studies have indicated that alcohol enhances the transcription of Pol III genes to cause an alteration of cellular phenotypes, which is closely related with human breast cancer. Betaine is a vegetable alkaloid and has antitumor functions. Most reports about betaine show that the consumption level of betaine is inversely associated with a risk of breast cancer. Although different mechanisms of betaine against tumour have been investigated, nothing has been reported on the effect of betaine on the deregulation of Brf1 and Pol III genes. In this study, we determine the role of betaine in breast cancer cell growth and colony formation and explore its mechanism. Our results indicate that alcohol increases the rates of growth and colony formation of breast cancer cells, whereas betaine is able to significantly inhibit the effects of alcohol on these cell phenotypes. Betaine decreases the induction of Brf1 expression and Pol III gene transcription caused by ethanol to reduce the rates of cell growth and colony formation. Together, these studies provide novel insights into the role of betaine in alcohol-caused breast cancer cell growth and deregulation of Brf1 and Pol III genes. These results suggest that betaine consumption is able to prevent alcohol-associated human cancer development.