Gamma-tocotrienol inhibits nuclear factor-kappaB signaling pathway through inhibition of receptor-interacting protein and TAK1 leading to suppression of antiapoptotic gene products and potentiation of apoptosis

Ahn KS, Sethi G, Krishnan K, Aggarwal BB.

Unlike the tocopherols, the tocotrienols, also members of the vitamin E family, have an unsaturated isoprenoid side chain. In contrast to extensive studies on tocopherol, very little is known about tocotrienol. Because the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) pathway has a central role in tumorigenesis, we investigated the effect of gamma-tocotrienol on the NF-kappaB pathway. Although gamma-tocotrienol completely abolished tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF)-induced NF-kappaB activation, a similar dose of gamma-tocopherol had no effect. Besides TNF, gamma-tocotrienol also abolished NF-kappaB activation induced by phorbol myristate acetate, okadaic acid, lipopolysaccharide, cigarette smoke, interleukin-1beta, and epidermal growth factor. Constitutive NF-kappaB activation expressed by certain tumor cells was also abrogated by gamma-tocotrienol. Reducing agent had no effect on the gamma-tocotrienol-induced down-regulation of NF-kappaB. Mevalonate reversed the NF-kappaB inhibitory effect of gamma-tocotrienol, indicating the role of hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase. Gamma-tocotrienol blocked TNF-induced phosphorylation and degradation of IkappaBalpha through the inhibition of IkappaBalpha kinase activation, thus leading to the suppression of the phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of p65. gamma-Tocotrienol also suppressed NF-kappaB-dependent reporter gene transcription induced by TNF, TNFR1, TRADD, TRAF2, TAK1, receptor-interacting protein, NIK, and IkappaBalpha kinase but not that activated by p65. Additionally, the expressions of NF-kappaB-regulated gene products associated with antiapoptosis (IAP1, IAP2, Bcl-xL, Bcl-2, cFLIP, XIAP, Bfl-1/A1, TRAF1, and Survivin), proliferation (cyclin D1, COX2, and c-Myc), invasion (MMP-9 and ICAM-1), and angiogenesis (vascular endothelial growth factor) were down-regulated by gamma-tocotrienol. This correlated with potentiation of apoptosis induced by TNF, paclitaxel, and doxorubicin. Overall, our results demonstrate that gamma-tocotrienol inhibited the NF-kappaB activation pathway, leading to down-regulation of various gene products and potentiation of apoptosis.

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