The role of α-tocopherol in preventing disease: From epidemiology to molecular events

A. Azzi, R. Gysin, P. Kempná, R. Ricciarelli, L. Villacorta, T. Visarius, J. M. Zingg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


The function of vitamin E has been attributed to its capacity to protect the organism against the attack of free radicals by acting as a lipid based radical chain breaking molecule. More recently, alternative non-antioxidant functions of vitamin E have been proposed and in particular that of a "gene regulator". Effects of vitamin E have been observed at the level of mRNA or protein and could be consequent to regulation of gene transcription, mRNA stability, protein translation, protein stability and post-translational events. Given the high priority functions assigned to vitamin E, it can be speculated that it would be inefficient to consume it as a radical scavenger. Rather, it would be important to protect vitamin E through a network of cellular antioxidant defences, similarly to what occurs with proteins, nucleic acids and lipids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-336
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Aspects of Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell signaling
  • Gene expression
  • Non-antioxidant
  • Protein kinase C
  • Tocopherols
  • Vitamin E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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