Induction of cytotoxicity in human lung adenocarcinoma cells by 6-O-carboxypropyl-alpha-tocotrienol, a redox-silent derivative of alpha-tocotrienol

Yano Y, Satoh H, Fukumoto K, Kumadaki I, Ichikawa T, Yamada K, Hagiwara K, Yano T.

Int J Cancer. 2005 Jul 10;115(5):839-46.

Tocotrienols are one of the most potent anticancer agents of all natural compounds and the anticancer property may be related to the inactivation of Ras family molecules. The anticancer potential of tocotrienols, however, is weakened due to its short elimination half life in vivo. To overcome the disadvantage and reinforce the anticancer activity in tocotrienols, we synthesized a redox-silent analogue of alpha-tocotrienol (T3), 6-O-carboxypropyl-alpha-tocotrienol (T3E). We estimated the possibility of T3E as a new anticancer agent against lung adenocarcinoma showing poor prognosis based on the mutation of ras gene. T3E showed cytotoxicity against A549 cells, a human lung adenocarcinoma cell line with a ras gene mutation, in a dose-dependent manner (0-40 microM), whereas T3 and a redox-silent analogue of alpha-tocopherol (T), 6-O-carboxypropyl-alpha-tocopherol (TE), showed much less cytotoxicity in cells within 40 microM. T3E cytotoxicity was based on the accumulation of cells in the G1-phase of the cell-cycle and the subsequent induction of apoptosis. Similar to this event, 24-hr treatment of A549 cells with 40 microM T3E caused the inhibition of Ras farnesylation, and a marked decrease in the levels of cyclin D required for G1/S progression in the cell-cycle and Bcl-xL, a key anti-apoptotic molecule. Moreover, the T3E-dependent inhibition of RhoA geranyl-geranylation is an inducing factor for the occurrence of apoptosis in A549 cells. Our results suggest that T3E suppresses Ras and RhoA prenylation, leading to negative growth control against A549 cells. In conclusion, a redox-silent analogue of T3, T3E may be a new candidate as an anticancer agent against lung adenocarcinoma showing poor prognosis based on the mutation of ras genes.

Plant seeds and fruits are the main source for tocochromanols (tocopherols and tocotrienols) collectively known as Vitamin E in human nutrition. Seeds are particularly rich in gamma-tocopherol. The reason for the abundance of gamma-tocopherol in seeds is not yet clear. We analysed the influence of endogenous gamma-tocopherols on early development of seedlings from various barley cultivars. For this purpose progression of seedling development was monitored by the mean root length 48 h after imbibition. Our observations suggest that endogenous gamma-tocopherol has a negative impact on seedling development by controlling germination and postgermination events. We propose that gamma-tocopherol exerts its influence on seedling development by controlling the content of nitric oxide (NO) in germinating seeds.

Vitamin E is an essential micronutrient involved in various processes relevant to human health and disease. Although it has long been considered just as an antioxidant, it has now become clear that vitamin E has functions far exceeding that as an antioxidant. These include regulation of cellular signaling processes and gene expression. Expression control of enzymes involved in drug metabolism was recognized during the investigation of vitamin E degradation. Vitamin E is metabolized by side chain degradation initiated by an omega-hydroxylation, catalyzed by a cytochrome P450 enzyme (CYP). This mechanism is identical for all forms of vitamin E. The degree to which they are degraded, however, varies dramatically, and may, in part, explain their different biological activities. CYPs degrade various endogenous and exogenous compounds and many of them are induced by their substrates. Also, gamma-tocotrienol, identified as substrate of CYPs, increased endogenous CYP3A4 in human HepG2 cells. In two studies with mice undertaken independently, alpha-tocopherol induced Cyp3a11, the murine homolog to human CYP3A4, whereas neither gamma-tocopherol nor gamma-tocotrienol, due to rapid degradation, showed any effect. CYPs are induced via the activation of the pregnane-X-receptor (PXR), a member of the family of nuclear receptors. They are activated by a large number of lipophilic xenobiotics. Also, vitamin E induced a reporter gene driven by PXR. The induction was highest with alpha- and gamma-tocotrienol and low but significant with alpha-tocopherol. This roughly correlates with the in vitro binding of vitamin E to PXR. These findings reveal that, in principle, vitamin E is able to directly influence gene activity. They also raise the question of whether vitamin E may interfere with drug metabolism in humans. Related research is urgently deeded.

This study was performed to evaluate the isomer-specific cytotoxic effects of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) on rat hepatoma dRLh-84 cells in vitro. A 10trans,12cis (10t,12c)-CLA showed a strong cytotoxic effect on dRLh-84 cells in culture, whereas no such effect was observed with 9cis,11trans (9c,11t)-CLA or linoleic acid. The optimum concentration for induction of cytotoxicity by 10t,12c-CLA was 5 to 10 microM, but the effect was alleviated at higher concentrations. Coincubation with oleic or palmitoleic acid and 10t,12c-CLA cancelled the cytotoxic effect, but other major saturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids and eraidic acid did not interfere with 10t,12c-CLA-induced cytotoxity. The cytotoxic effect was also alleviated by alpha-tocopherol (alpha-toc) and alpha-tocotrienol but not by any other antioxidant reagent examined. Significant cytotoxicity of 10t,12c-CLA was detected after only a 15-min incubation, and the most noticeable effect was seen after 3 h. After incubation with 10t,12c-CLA at 10 microM, an additional 90 microM of 10t,12c-CLA or 100 microM of alpha-toc was also able to alleviate the cytotoxicity. When cells were treated with 10 microM 10t,12c-CLA for more than 48 h, treatment with additional CLA or alpha-toc could not prevent cell death.

Cardioprotection with palm tocotrienol: Antioxidant activity of tocotrienol is linked with its ability to stabilize proteasomes

Das S, Powell SR, Wang P, Divald A, Nesaretnam K, Tosaki A, Cordis GA, Maulik N, Das DK.

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2005 Jul;289(1):H361-7.

Tocotrienols, isomers of vitamin E, have been found to possess many health benefits. The present study was designed to determine whether tocotrienol has a direct cardioprotective role. Isolated rat hearts were perfused for 15 min with Krebs-Ringer bicarbonate buffer in the absence or presence of palm tocotrienol derived from the tocotrienol-rich fraction (0.035%) of palm oil (TRF). In another group of studies, the hearts were preperfused for 15 min in the presence of a c-Src inhibitor, 4-amino-5-(4-methylphenyl)-7-(t-butyl)-pyrazolo-3,4-d-pyrimidine (PPI). The hearts were then subjected to 30 min of global ischemia followed by 2 h of reperfusion. As expected, ischemia-reperfusion caused ventricular dysfunction, electrical rhythm disturbances, and increased myocardial infarct size. PPI or TRF could reverse the ischemia-reperfusion-mediated cardiac dysfunction. Ischemia-reperfusion also upregulated c-Src expression and phosphorylation. Although TRF only minimally affected c-Src expression, it significantly inhibited the phosphorylation of c-Src. Ischemia-reperfusion reduced 20S and 26S proteasome activities, an effect prevented by TRF pretreatment. PPI exerted a cardioprotective effect that is not mediated by the proteasome but, rather, through direct inhibition of c-Src. The results of this study support a role for c-Src in postischemic cardiac injury and dysfunction and demonstrate direct cardioprotective effects of TRF. The cardioprotective properties of TRF appear to be due to inhibition of c-Src activation and proteasome stabilization.

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Intracellular signaling mechanisms mediating the antiproliferative and apoptotic effects of gamma-tocotrienol in neoplastic mammary epithelial cells

Sylvester PW, Shah SJ, Samant GV.

J Plant Physiol. 2005 Jul;162(7):803-10.

Tocotrienols, a subgroup within the vitamin E family of compounds, display potent antiproliferative and apoptotic activity against neoplastic mammary epithelial cells at treatment doses that have little or no effect on normal cell growth and function. Recent studies have shown that treatment with a growth inhibitory, but non-cytotoxic dose (4 microM) of gamma-tocotrienol inhibits phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase-dependent kinase (Pl3K)/Pl3K-dependent kinase 1 (PDK-1)/mitogenic signaling over a 2-3 day period following treatment exposure, and these effects were not found to be associated with an increased in either phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted from chromosome 10 (PTEN) or protein phosphatase type 2A (PP2A) phosphatase activity. In addition, this treatment caused a large decrease in NFKB transcriptional activity, apparently by suppressing I kappa B-kinase (IKK)-alpha/beta activation, an enzyme associated with inducing NFKB activation. Since Akt and NFkappaB are intimately involved in mammary tumor cell proliferation and survival, these findings strongly suggest that the antiproliferative effects of gamma-tocotrienol result, at least in part, from a reduction in Akt and NFkappa B activity. In contrast, treatment with 20 microM gamma-tocotrienol (cytotoxic dose) resulted in caspase-8 and -3 activation and apoptosis. It was also shown that this same treatment caused a rapid and large decrease in Pl3K/PDK/Akt signaling within 2-4h following treatment exposure, and a corresponding decrease in intracellular levels of FLIP, an antiapoptotic protein that inhibits caspase-8 activation. In summary, both the antiproliferative and apoptotic effects of gamma-tocotrienol appear to be mediated by a reduction in the Pl3K/PDK-1 /Akt signaling, an important pathway associated with cell proliferation and survival in neoplastic mammary epithelial cells.