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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2004 Dec;1031:391-4.

Gamma-tocotrienol metabolism and antiproliferative effect in prostate cancer cells.

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  • 1University of Perugia, Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Applied Biochemistry and Nutritional Sciences, Via del Giochetto, 06126 Perugia, Italy.


In this study, we evaluated the antiproliferative effect of tocotrienols (T3) and the presence of a specific vitamin E metabolism in PC3 and LNCaP prostate cancer cells. These cell lines are able to transform tocopherols (T) and T3 in the corresponding carboxyethyl-hydroxychromans metabolites (CEHCs). The extent of this metabolism and the inhibitory effect on cell growth followed the order of magnitude alpha-T<alpha-T3<gamma-T<gamma-T3. The partial inhibition of gamma-T3 metabolism by ketoconazole did not influence cell proliferation. These early findings may suggest that the transformation of vitamin E to CEHC is mostly a detoxification mechanism useful to maintain the malignant properties of prostate cancer cells.

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