Vitamin E (Vit. E) is considered an essential dietary nutrient for humans and animals. An enormous body of evidence indicates the biological and protective effects of Vit. E consumption. Tocopherol-associated protein (TAP) is a major tocopherolbinding protein affecting Vit. E stimulation and downstream signaling transduction. However, how Vit. E utilizes TAP as an anti-cancer mechanism remains unclear. Microarray analysis of signature gene profiles in breast cancer cells treated with α-tocopheryl succinate (α-TOS, a Vit. E isoform) resulted in cell cycle arrest and anticancer activity in breast cancer cells. Pterostilbene (PS), a natural dietary antioxidant found in blueberries, in combination with α-TOS synergistically maximized breast cancer cell growth inhibition by disrupting signal transduction, transcription factors and cell cycle proteins. In a xenograft mouse model, PS treatment with Vit. E inhibited breast tumor growth and cell invasion, which were evaluated using our recently developed circulating tumor cell (CTC) detection assay. Because dietary Vit. E and PS supplementation contributed to preventative and therapeutic effects in vitro and in vivo, this combination may benefit breast cancer therapy in the clinic.
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