Vitamin E succinate induces apoptosis via the PI3K/AKT signaling pathways in EC109 esophageal cancer cells.
Mol Med Rep. 2016 Jun 27. Epub 2016 Jun 27. PMID: 27357907
Esophageal cancer is the fourth most common gastrointestinal cancer, it generally has a poor prognosis and novel strategies are required for prevention and treatment. Vitamin E succinate (VES) is a potential chemical agent for cancer prevention and therapy as it exerts anti‑tumor effects in a variety of cancers. However, the role of VES in tumorigenesis and progression of cancer remains to be elucidated. The present study aimed to determine the effects of VES in regulating the survival and apoptosis of human esophageal cancer cells. EC109 human esophageal cancer cells were used to investigate the anti‑proliferative effects of VES. The MTT and Annexin V‑fluorescein isothiocyanate/propidium iodide assays demonstrated that VES inhibited cell proliferation andinduced apoptosis in esophageal cancer cells. Furthermore, VES downregulated constitutively active basal levels of phosphorylated (p)‑serine‑threonine kinase AKT (AKT) and p‑mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), and decreased the phosphorylation of AKT substrates Bcl‑2‑associated death receptor and caspase‑9, in addition to mTOR effectors, ribosomal protein S6 kinase β1 and eIF4E‑binding protein 1. Phosphoinositide‑3‑kinase (PI3K) inhibitor, LY294002 suppressed p‑AKT and p‑mTOR, indicating PI3K is a common upstream mediator. The apoptosis induced by VES was increasedby inhibition of AKT or mTOR with their respective inhibitor in esophageal cancer cells. The results of the present study suggested that VES targeted the PI3K/AKT signaling pathways and induced apoptosis in esophageal cancer cells. Furthermore, the current study suggests that VES may be useful in acombinational therapeutic strategy employing an mTOR inhibitor.