Thursday, March 19, 2009

Vitamin E and Prostate Cancer

Vitamin E and Prostate Cancer: A Proteomics Approach Using 2-D Gel Analysis Software

Proteomics can be a useful tool in understanding the anti-cancer activity of vitamin E.

By Christian M. Muenyi, Dr. William L. Stone, Dr. Hamid Kasmai, and Hongsong Yang

Various forms of vitamin E have been under intensive study as chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic agents for a number of cancers.1 Many in vitro, animal, and epidemiological studies have presented evidence of an anti-cancer activity for vitamin E, but there are few studies of vitamin E in prostate cancer,2 and the mechanisms by which forms of vitamin E induce apoptosis in cancer cells remains largely unknown.3 Therefore, proteomics may help to understand the molecular events associated with the cytotoxic effects of vitamin E on cancer cells.

Figure 1: Analysis of 2-D gel by Dymension software showing proteins that are up or down-regulated three hours after delta-tocotrienol treatment.

The purpose of the study was to characterize the proteomic changes occurring in a prostate cancer (LNCaP) cell line after treatment with delta-tocotrienol, a form of vitamin E. In this study, 2-D gel electrophoresis was used to detect changes in protein expression levels associated with this treatment. However, to determine which proteins in a complex 2-D gel image are being expressed requires specialist software to resolve protein spots accurately. Previously, using some 2-D analysis software packages, it was difficult and time consuming to manipulate gel images to obtain meaningful data. To overcome the analysis bottleneck, this article describes how Dymension (Syngene, Frederick, Md.), a 2-D gel image analysis software, can be used to rapidly show which proteins are up or down-regulated by treatment with delta-tocotrienol.