MATERIALS AND METHODS: Tocotrienol-rich fraction was used to treat different stages of cellular aging of primary human diploid fibroblasts viz. young (passage 6), pre-senescent (passage 15) and senescent (passage 30). Several selected targets involved in the downstream of PI3K/AKT and RAF/MEK/ERK pathways were compared in total RNA and protein.
RESULTS: Different transcriptional profiles were observed in young, pre-senescent and senescent HDFs, in which cellular aging increased AKT, FOXO3, CDKN1A and RSK1 mRNA expression level, but decreased ELK1, FOS and SIRT1 mRNA expression level. With tocotrienol-rich fraction treatment, gene expression of AKT, FOXO3, ERK and RSK1 mRNA was decreased in senescent cells, but not in young cells. The three down-regulated mRNA in cellular aging, ELK1, FOS and SIRT1, were increased with tocotrienol-rich fraction treatment. Expression of FOXO3 and P21Cip1 proteins showed up-regulation in senescent cells but tocotrienol-rich fraction only decreased P21Cip1 protein expression in senescent cells.
CONCLUSIONS: Tocotrienol-rich fraction exerts gene modulating properties that might be responsible in promoting cell cycle progression during cellular aging.