Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

William L. Stone, Thomas T-S. Huang

Committee Members

Chu-Ngi Ho


This research focused on the cytotoxic properties of RRR-alpha-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate (TPGS) in transformed and cancerous cell lines. We used RAW264.7 macrophage and prostate cancer (LNCaP) cell lines in this study. TPGS caused cell death and decreased cell viability in a dose and time dependent manner. Cell death was evaluated fluorimetrically by employing the nucleic acid-binding fluorophore; propidium iodide. A colorimetric 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay was used to evaluate cell viability. Cell death can occur through necrosis or apoptosis. Our results suggested that TPGS triggered apoptotic cell death. Induction of apoptosis, as measured by caspase 3 enzymatic activity, was dependent upon the TPGS dose and incubation time. Caspase 8 was activated before caspase 9, suggesting the importance of the death receptor pathway in apoptosis. Our results indicated that TPGS cytotoxicity could also be due to one of its products of hydrolysis, alpha-tocopheryl succinate.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.