Non-antioxidant molecular functions of α-tocopherol (vitamin E)

Angelo Azzi, Roberta Ricciarelli, Jean Marc Zingg

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

271 Scopus citations


α-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 α-tocopherol was first described by our group. Later, α-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. α-Tocopherol diminishes adhesion molecule, collagenase and scavenger receptor (SR-A and CD36) expression and increases connective tissue growth factor expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-10
Number of pages3
JournalFEBS letters
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - May 22 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • α-Tocopherol
  • Cell proliferation
  • Gene expression
  • Non-antioxidant mechanism
  • Oxygen burst
  • Platelet aggregation
  • Protein kinase C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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