Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Chronic inflammation contributes significantly to the etiology of colon cancer development. We propose that certain forms of vitamin E are excellent anti-cancer agents for colon cancer. Vitamin E comprises eight molecules, 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-tocopherol and 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-tocotrienol. Among them, only 1-tocopherol (1T), the predominant form of vitamin E in tissues, has been extensively studied including its chemoprevention potential for colon cancer, but the results are disappointing. Recent studies by us and others indicate that 3-tocopherol (3T), which is rich in US diets, may be a much better anticancer agent than 1T. In particular, we have shown that 3T but not 1T has anti-inflammatory properties by inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX)-catalyzed prostaglandin E2 in cultured cells and in a rat inflammation model. Our preliminary data showed that 3T more potently inhibits 5-lipoxygnease (5-LOX)-catalyzed formation of leukotriene B4 than 1T. A new metabolite of 3T, 13'-carboxychormanol, which is detected in significant amounts in feces, is an even stronger inhibitor of COXs and 5-LOX than 3T. In addition to the anti-inflammatory properties, our preliminary data indicated that 3T may inhibit growth and induce apoptosis in colon cancer cell lines by modulation of sphingolipid synthesis. Recently, a study reported that mixed tocopherols, which are enriched in 3T, inhibited aberrant crypt foci formation in azoxymethane-induced colon cancer model. This intriguing finding together with our observations leads to the current hypothesis that 3T is effective in prevention against colon cancer via mechanisms including anti-inflammatory action and potential modulation of sphingolipids. This hypothesis will be tested by pursuit of the following Specific Aims: 1) Investigate anti-angiogenic effect of 3T and 1T via the anti-inflammatory mechanism;2) investigate potential modulation of sphingolipids and its relevance to 3T-mediated antiproliferation and pro-apoptosis effect in colon cancer cell lines;and 3) Examine anti-cancer effects of 3T and 1T in a colitis-associated colon cancer model, and investigate the mechanisms underlying the observed effects. These studies will elucidate new anti-cancer mechanisms of 3T, potentially identify a new drug target for colon cancer and provide important preclinical data for future human clinical studies.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed study will provide strong evidence that gamma-tocopherol, the major form of vitamin E in US diet, is an effective chemoprevention and therapeutic agent for colon cancer. These studies will also provide biochemical mechanisms and important preclinical data for future human clinical studies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Chemo/Dietary Prevention Study Section (CDP)
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Seifried, Harold E
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Purdue University
Other Domestic Higher Education
West Lafayette
United States
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Jang, Yumi; Rao, Xiayu; Jiang, Qing (2017) Gamma-tocotrienol profoundly alters sphingolipids in cancer cells by inhibition of dihydroceramide desaturase and possibly activation of sphingolipid hydrolysis during prolonged treatment. J Nutr Biochem 46:49-56
Wang, Yun; Jiang, Qing (2013) ?-Tocotrienol inhibits lipopolysaccharide-induced interlukin-6 and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor by suppressing C/EBP? and NF-?B in macrophages. J Nutr Biochem 24:1146-52
Jiang, Qing; Jiang, Ziying; Hall, Yava Jones et al. (2013) Gamma-tocopherol attenuates moderate but not severe colitis and suppresses moderate colitis-promoted colon tumorigenesis in mice. Free Radic Biol Med 65:1069-77
Jiang, Qing; Rao, Xiayu; Kim, Choon Young et al. (2012) Gamma-tocotrienol induces apoptosis and autophagy in prostate cancer cells by increasing intracellular dihydrosphingosine and dihydroceramide. Int J Cancer 130:685-93
Gopalan, Archana; Yu, Weiping; Jiang, Qing et al. (2012) Involvement of de novo ceramide synthesis in gamma-tocopherol and gamma-tocotrienol-induced apoptosis in human breast cancer cells. Mol Nutr Food Res 56:1803-11
Jiang, Ziying; Yin, Xinmin; Jiang, Qing (2011) Natural forms of vitamin E and 13'-carboxychromanol, a long-chain vitamin E metabolite, inhibit leukotriene generation from stimulated neutrophils by blocking calcium influx and suppressing 5-lipoxygenase activity, respectively. J Immunol 186:1173-9
Freiser, Helene; Jiang, Qing (2009) Gamma-tocotrienol and gamma-tocopherol are primarily metabolized to conjugated 2-(beta-carboxyethyl)-6-hydroxy-2,7,8-trimethylchroman and sulfated long-chain carboxychromanols in rats. J Nutr 139:884-9
Freiser, Helene; Jiang, Qing (2009) Optimization of the enzymatic hydrolysis and analysis of plasma conjugated gamma-CEHC and sulfated long-chain carboxychromanols, metabolites of vitamin E. Anal Biochem 388:260-5