Alpha-Tocopherol prevents esophageal squamous cell carcinoma by modulating PPARγ-Akt signaling pathway at the early stage of carcinogenesis

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Published on Friday, 22 December 2017

Abstract

The poor prognosis of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) emphasizes the urgent need to better understand the carcinogenesis and develop prevention strategies.

Previous studies have highlighted the potential of using Vitamin E (tocopherols) for cancer chemoprevention, but the preventive activity of α-Tocopherol against ESCC remains to be elucidated.

Our data showed that early-stage supplementation with α-Tocopherol significantly prevented esophageal carcinogenesis induced by N-nitrosomethylbenzylamine (NMBA) in ESCC rat model.

In the Het-1A cell model, α-Tocopherol markedly suppressed cell proliferation, promoted cell cycle G2-phase arrest and increased apoptosis.

Gene microarray and proteins array analysis indicated that Akt signaling was a potential target for α-Tocopherol.

We further demonstrated that α-Tocopherol increased the expression of PPARγ and its downstream tumor suppressor PTEN. Knockdown of PPARγ activated Akt signaling transduction, whereas this process was attenuated by the presence of α-Tocopherol and PPARγ agonist Rosiglitazone. In contrast, the effect of α-Tocopherol on Akt inhibition was not observed in established tumors, neither in cancerous cell lines which constitutively expressed higher levels of PPARγ.

These results were closely correlated with the ineffectiveness of α-Tocopherol in the late stage of ESCC carcinogenesis.

Taken together, our study suggested that α-Tocopherol may serve as a PPARγ agonist for the chemoprevention of esophageal cancer.

 

 

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Alpha-Tocopherol prevents esophageal squamous cell carcinoma by modulating PPARγ-Akt signaling pathway at the early stage of carcinogenesis