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FEBS Lett. 2002 May 22;519(1-3):8-10.

Non-antioxidant molecular functions of alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E).

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Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Bern, B├╝hlstrasse 28, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland.


alpha-Tocopherol (the major vitamin E component) regulates key cellular events by mechanisms unrelated with its antioxidant function. Inhibition of protein kinase C (PKC) activity and vascular smooth muscle cell growth by alpha-tocopherol was first described by our group. Later, alpha-tocopherol was shown to inhibit PKC in various cell types with consequent inhibition of aggregation in platelets, of nitric oxide production in endothelial cells and of superoxide production in neutrophils and macrophages. alpha-Tocopherol diminishes adhesion molecule, collagenase and scavenger receptor (SR-A and CD36) expression and increases connective tissue growth factor expression.

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