Activation of human insulin by vitamin E: A molecular dynamics simulation study

Soleymani H, Ghorbani M, Allahverdi A, Shojaeilangari S, Naderi-Manesh H

J Mol Graph Model. 2019 Sep;91:194-203. doi: 10.1016/j.jmgm.2019.06.006. Epub 2019 Jun 14.


Lack of perfect insulin signaling can lead to the insulin resistance, which is the hallmark of diabetes mellitus. Activation of insulin and its binding to the receptor for signaling process initiates via B-chain C-terminal hinge conformational change through an open structure to “wide-open” conformation. Observational studies and basic scientific evidence suggest that vitamin D and E directly and/or indirectly prevent diabetes through improving glucose secretion and tolerance, activating calcium dependent endopeptidases and thus improving insulin exocytosis, antioxidant effect and reducing insulin resistance. On the contrary, clinical trials have yielded inconsistent results about the efficacy of vitamin D supplementations for the control of glucose hemostasis. In this work, best binding modes of vitamin D3 and E on insulin obtained from AutoDock Vina were selected for Molecular Dynamic, MD, study. The binding energy obtained from Molecular Mechanics- Poisson Boltzman Surface Area, MM-PBSA method, revealed that Vitamins D3 and E have good affinity to bind to the insulin and vitamin Ehas higher binding energy (-46 kj/mol) by engaging more residues in binding site. Distance and angle calculation results illustrated that vitamin E changes the B-chain conformation and it causes the formation of wide-open/active form of insulin. Vitamin E increases the ValB12-TyrB26 distance to ∼15 Å and changes the hinge angle to ∼65°. Consequently, essential hydrophobic residues for binding to insulin receptor exposed to surface in the presence of vitamin E. However, our data illustrated that vitamin D3 cannot change B-chain conformation. Thus our MD simulations propose a model for insulin activation through vitamin E interaction for therapeutic approaches.

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Antagonistic effect of vitamin E on nAl2O3-induced exacerbation of Th2 and Th17-mediated allergic asthma via oxidative stress

Cui H, Huang J, Lu M, Zhang Q, Qin W, Zhao Y, Lu X, Zhang J, Xi Z, Li R

Environ Pollut. 2019 Sep;252(Pt B):1519-1531. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2019.06.092. Epub 2019 Jun 26.


Some basic research has shown that nanomaterials can aggravate allergic asthma. However, its potential mechanism is insufficient. Based on the research that alumina nanopowder (nAl2O3) has been reported to cause lung tissue damage, the purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between nAl2O3 and allergic asthma as well as its molecular mechanism. In this study, Balb/c mice were sensitized with ovalbumin (OVA) to construct the allergic asthma model while intratracheally administered 0.5, 5 or 50 mg kg-1·day-1 nAl2O3 for 3 weeks. It was observed that exposure to nAl2O3 exacerbated airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), airway remodeling, and inflammation cell infiltration, leading to lung function damage in mice. Results revealed that nAl2O3 could increase ROS levels and decrease GSH levels in lung tissue, promote the increases of the T-IgE, TGF-β, IL-1β and IL-6 levels, stimulate the overexpression of transcription factors GATA-3 and RORγt, decrease the levels of IFN-γ and IL-10 and increase the levels of IL-4 and IL-17A, resulting in the imbalance of Th1/Th2 and Treg/Th17 immune responses. In addition, antioxidant Vitamin E (Vit E) could alleviate asthma-like symptoms through blocking oxidative stress. The study displayed that exposure of nAl2O3 deteriorated allergic asthma through promoting the imbalances of Th1/Th2 and Treg/Th17.

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Evaluating the Effects of an Ophthalmic Solution of Coenzyme Q10 and Vitamin E in Open-Angle Glaucoma Patients: A Study Protocol

Quaranta L, Riva I, Biagioli E, Rulli E, Rulli E, Poli D, Legramandi L

Adv Ther. 2019 Sep;36(9):2506-2514. doi: 10.1007/s12325-019-01023-3. Epub 2019 Jul 12.



The CoQun® study is a multicenter, controlled trial aimed to evaluate the neuroprotective effects of Coqun®, an ophthalmic solution of Coenzyme q10 (CoQ10) and Vitamin E (VitE), in patients affected by primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). Pre-clinical studies and small non-controlled clinical trials have previously shown a potential role of CoQ10 and VitE in glaucoma neuroprotection, both in vitro and in vivo.


Randomized, parallel arm, multicenter, double-blind study. POAG patients with an IOP ranging from 17 to 21 mm Hg on monotherapy with a prostaglandin analogue (PGA) will be considered for study enrollment. Inclusion criteria will be visual field (VF) mean deviation between – 4 and – 10 dB and VF Pattern Standard Deviation between 4 and 10 dB. Eligible patients will be randomized to receive CoQun® (Arm A) or placebo (Arm B), in addition to PGA monotherapy.


Primary outcome will be time to progression, defined as the time between the baseline visit and the visit with confirmed VF progression. A total of 612 patients are planned to be enrolled, to detect a hazard ratio of 0.65, with a power of 80% and an alpha error of 0.05 (two-sided). For study power calculation, 10% non-evaluable patients are assumed. This is the first study investigating, in a randomized, double-blind and controlled fashion, the neuroprotective effects of CoQ10 and VitE in POAG patients.

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Oral Supplementation of Tocotrienol-Rich Fraction Alleviates Severity of Ulcerative Colitis in Mice

Saw TY, Malik NA, Lim KP, Teo CWL, Wong ESM, Kong SC, Fong CW, Petkov J, Yap WN

J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2019;65(4):318-327. doi: 10.3177/jnsv.65.318.


Ulcerative colitis (UC) is characterized by damaged colonic mucosa and submucosa layers that are caused by excessive inflammatory reactions and oxidative stress. This study aimed to examine the use of tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) in mitigating damages caused by UC on the colon epithelium. Dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced UC mice were treated with vehicle control, TRF, alpha-tocopherol (αTP) and 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA). Observable clinical signs, quality of stool, histopathological scoring, inflammatory and oxidative markers were assessed. Vitamin E levels of colons and plasma were quantified. Oral supplementation of TRF significantly reduced the severity of DSS-induced UC by lowering the disease activity index (DAI) and histopathological inflammatory scoring. TRF also attenuated the DSS-induced enlargement of spleen and shortening of the colon. TRF has demonstrated marked anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties indicated by the attenuation of DSS-induced upregulation of inflammation and oxidative stress markers including interleukin (IL)-6, IL-17, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, myeloperoxidase (MPO), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), nitric oxide (NO), malondialdehyde (MDA) and pNF-κB. These improvements were similar to that of 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA) treatment. In contrast, αTP did not demonstrate evident clinical and histopathological improvements. The superior protective effect of TRF may be ascribed to the preferential absorption of TRF by the gut mucosa. TRF alleviated the signs and symptoms of acute UC in murine model via the reduction of local inflammatory reactions and oxidative stress. These effects suggested that TRF could serve as a gut health supplement for preventive measures for UC condition in patients.

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Suppression of colorectal cancer cell growth by combined treatment of 6-gingerol and γ-tocotrienol via alteration of multiple signalling pathways

Yusof KM, Makpol S, Fen LS, Jamal R, Wan Ngah WZ

J Nat Med. 2019 Sep;73(4):745-760. doi: 10.1007/s11418-019-01323-6. Epub 2019 Jun 8.


Our previous study reported that combined treatment of γ-tocotrienol with 6-gingerol showed promising anticancer effects by synergistically inhibiting proliferation of human colorectal cancer cell lines. This study aimed to identify and elucidate molecular mechanisms involved in the suppression of SW837 colorectal cancer cells modulated by combined treatment of γ-tocotrienol and 6-gingerol. Total RNA from both untreated and treated cells was prepared for transcriptome analysis using RNA sequencing techniques. We performed high-throughput sequencing at approximately 30-60 million coverage on both untreated and 6G + γT3-treated cells. The results showed that cancer-specific differential gene expression occurred and functional enrichment pathway analysis suggested that more than one pathway was modulated in 6G + γT3-treated cells. Combined treatment with 6G + γT3 augmented its chemotherapeutic effect by interfering with the cell cycle process, downregulating the Wnt signalling pathway and inducing apoptosis mainly through caspase-independent programmed cell death through mitochondrial dysfunction, activation of ER-UPR, disruption of DNA repair mechanisms and inactivation of the cell cycle process through the downregulation of main genes in proliferation such as FOXM1 and its downstream genes. The combined treatment exerted its cytotoxic effect through upregulation of genes in stress response activation and cytostatic effects demonstrated by downregulation of main regulator genes in the cell cycle. Selected genes involved in particular pathways including ATF6, DDIT3, GADD34, FOXM1, CDK1 and p21 displayed concordant patterns of gene expression between RNA sequencing and RT-qPCR. This study provides new insights into combined treatment with bioactive compounds not only in terms of its pleiotropic effects that enhance multiple pathways but also specific target genes that could be exploited for therapeutic purposes, especially in suppressing cancer cell growth.

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