Inhibition of HMC-1 mast cell proliferation by vitamin E: Involvement of the protein kinase B pathway

Petra Kempná, Elke Reiter, Michel Arock, Angelo Azzi, Jean Marc Zingg

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81 Scopus citations


The effects of four natural tocopherols on the proliferation and signaling pathways were examined in the human mastocytoma cell line (HMC-1). The four tocopherols inhibited HMC-1 cell proliferation with different potency (δ > α = γ > β). Growth inhibition correlated with the reduction of PKB (protein kinase B) phosphorylation by the different tocopherols. The reduction of PKB phosphorylation led to a decrease of its activity, as judged from a parallel reduction of GSKα/β phosphorylation. The translocation of PKB to the membrane, as a response to receptor stimulation by NGFβ, is also prevented by treatment with tocopherols. In the presence of PKC or PP2A inhibitors, the reduction of PKB phosphorylation by tocopherols was still observed, thus excluding the direct involvement of these enzymes. Other pathways, such as the Ras-stimulated ERK1/2 (extracellular signal responsive kinase) pathway, were not affected by tocopherol treatment. The tocopherols did not significantly change oxidative stress in HMC-1 cells, suggesting that the observed effects are not the result of a general reduction of oxidative stress. Thus, the tocopherols interfere with PKB phosphorylation and reduce proliferation of HMC-1 cells, possibly by modulating either phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, a kinase phosphorylating PKB (PDK1/2), or a phosphatase that dephosphorylates it. Inhibition of proliferation and PKB signaling in HMC-1 cells by vitamin E suggests a role in preventing diseases with mast cell involvement, such as allergies, atherosclerosis, and tumorigenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50700-50709
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number49
StatePublished - Dec 3 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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