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Gene Regulatory Activity of Vitamin E

  • Alexandra Fischer
  • Gerald RimbachEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Nutrition and Health book series (NH)

Abstract

Since the discovery of vitamin E, research on this vitamin has mainly focused on its antioxidant properties; however, in recent years, the gene regulatory activities of tocopherols and tocotrienols have also been increasingly studied. The structural differences of the various vitamin E isoforms determine their biological and regulatory activities. It has been shown, as the first non-antioxidant property of vitamin E, that α-tocopherol inhibits protein kinase C and 5-lipoxygenase and also activates protein phosphatase 2A and diacylglycerol kinase. Furthermore, vitamin E modulates the immune response, in part by reducing inflammation and boosting the immune system. Long-term vitamin E deficiency affects hepatic gene expression by upregulating hepatic coagulation factor IX, 5-α-steroid reductase type 1 and CD36, as well as downregulating the hepatic γ-glutamyl-cysteinyl-synthetase mRNA level. Our in vivo studies in rats have also indicated that dietary vitamin E induces changes in steroidogenesis by affecting cholesterol homeostasis in the testes and adrenal glands. In addition, vitamin E has been suggested to modulate age-associated changes by altering the redox balance, resulting in altered gene and/or protein expression. Finally, it has been shown that vitamin E controls cell signalling not only at the mRNA but also at the miRNA level.

Keywords

Vitamin E Gene expression Inflammation Lipid metabolism MicroRNA Immune response 

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Human Nutrition and Food ScienceUniversity of KielKielGermany

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