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Molecules 2010, 15(3), 1746-1761; doi:10.3390/molecules15031746
Review

Gene-Regulatory Activity of α-Tocopherol

1,* , 1
, 1
 and 2
1 Institute of Human Nutrition and Food Science, Christian Albrechts University 24118 Kiel, Germany 2 Cranfield Health, Vincent Building, Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 January 2010 / Revised: 5 March 2010 / Accepted: 9 March 2010 / Published: 12 March 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamins)
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Abstract

Vitamin E is an essential vitamin and a lipid soluble antioxidant, at least, under in vitro conditions. The antioxidant properties of vitamin E are exerted through its phenolic hydroxyl group, which donates hydrogen to peroxyl radicals, resulting in the formation of stable lipid species. Beside an antioxidant role, important cell signalling properties of vitamin E have been described. By using gene chip technology we have identified α-tocopherol sensitive molecular targets in vivo including christmas factor (involved in the blood coagulation) and 5α-steroid reductase type 1 (catalyzes the conversion of testosterone to 5α-dihydrotestosterone) being upregulated and γ-glutamyl-cysteinyl synthetase (the rate limiting enzyme in GSH synthesis) being downregulated due to a-tocopherol deficiency. α-Tocopherol regulates signal transduction cascades not only at the mRNA but also at the miRNA level since miRNA 122a (involved in lipid metabolism) and miRNA 125b (involved in inflammation) are downregulated by α-tocopherol. Genetic polymorphisms may determine the biological and gene-regulatory activity of a-tocopherol. In this context we have recently shown that genes encoding for proteins involved in peripheral α-tocopherol transport and degradation are significantly affected by the apoE genotype.
Keywords: vitamin E; α-tocopherol; antioxidant; gene expression vitamin E; α-tocopherol; antioxidant; gene expression
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rimbach, G.; Moehring, J.; Huebbe, P.; Lodge, J.K. Gene-Regulatory Activity of α-Tocopherol. Molecules 2010, 15, 1746-1761.

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