SCOPE: Previous reports in the areas of animal studies and, recently epidemiology, have linked anti-tumorigenic and anti-inflammatory effects to dietary vitamin B6. This study investigated the molecular mechanism of these effects of vitamin B6. METHODS AND RESULTS: DNA microarray analysis was used to obtain information on changes in colon gene expression from vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) repletion in vitamin B6-deficient rats. Pyridoxine supplementation down-regulated the inflammatory molecule, serine protease inhibitor clade A member 3 (SPI-3) mRNA expression in the colon. This study also showed that tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) induced SPI-3 mRNA expression in HT-29 human colon cancer cells, and vitamin B6 (pyridoxal hydrochloride) pretreatment of HT-29 cells inhibited TNF -induced mRNA expression of SPI-3. Vitamin B6 inhibited TNF-alpha-induced NF-kappaB activation via suppression of IkappaBalpha degradation in HT-29 cells. HT-29 cells stably expressing epitope-tagged ubiquitin were generated and vitamin B6 pretreatment was shown to inhibit ubiquitination of the IkB protein in response to TNF-alpha-i. CONCLUSION: Vitamin B6 suppressed SPI-3 expression in the colon of rats and in TNF-alpha-stimulated HT-29 cells. Further, this study showed a possible role of vitamin B6 in the regulation of protein ubiquitination.