Affinity for α-tocopherol transfer protein as a determinant of the biological activities of vitamin E analogs

Akihiro Hosomi, Makoto Arita, Yuji Sato, Chikako Kiyose, Tadahiko Ueda, Osamu Igarashi, Hiroyuki Arai, Keizo Inoue

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543 Citations (Scopus)


α-Tocopherol transfer protein (αTTP), a product of the gene which causes familial isolated vitamin E deficiency, plays an important role in determining the plasma vitamin E level. We examined the structural characteristics of vitamin E analogs required for recognition by αTTP. Ligand specificity was assessed by evaluating the competition of non-labeled vitamin E analogs and α-[3H]tocopherol for transfer between membranes in vitro. Relative affinities (RRR-α-tocopherol=100%) calculated from the degree of competition were as follows: β-tocopherol, 38%; γ-tocopherol, 9%; δ-tocopherol, 2%; α-tocopherol acetate, 2%; α-tocopherol quinone, 2%; SRR-α-tocopherol, 11%; α:-tocotrienol, 12%; trolox, 9%. Interestingly, there was a linear relationship between the relative affinity and the known biological activity obtained from the rat resorption-gestation assay. From these observations, we conclude that the affinity of vitamin E analogs for αTTP is one of the critical determinants of their biological activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-108
Number of pages4
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997 Jun 2
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-oxidant
  • Ligand specificity
  • Transfer protein
  • Vitamin E
  • α-Tocopherol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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