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Redox Rep. 2001;6(3):143-51.

Vitamin E analogues as inducers of apoptosis: implications for their potential antineoplastic role.

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Institute for Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany.


Recent evidence suggests that vitamin E and its analogues, which have been used for many years as antioxidants, may not only protect cells from free radical damage but also induce apoptotic cell death in various cell types. While alpha-tocopherol (alpha-TOH) is mainly known as an anti-apoptotic agent, its redox-silent analogues either have no influence on cell survival (alpha-tocopheryl acetate, alpha-TOA), or induce apoptosis (alpha-tocopheryl succinate, alpha-TOS). Although precise mechanisms of apoptosis induction by alpha-TOS remain to be elucidated, there is evidence that this process involves both the antiproliferative and membrane destabilising activities of the agent. Alpha-TOS has been shown to induce apoptosis in malignant cell lines but not, in general, in normal cells, and to inhibit tumorigenesis in vivo. These features suggest that this semi-synthetic analogue of vitamin E could be a promising antineoplastic agent.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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