Author(s): Gosslau A, Chen M, Ho CT, Chen KY
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Abstract Resveratrol (R-3), a trihydroxy trans-stilbene from grape, inhibits multistage carcinogenesis in animal models. A resveratrol derivative 3,4,5,4'-tetrahydroxystilbene (R-4) exhibits potent growth inhibitory effect against transformed human cells. Here we report that 3,4,5,4'-tetramethoxystilbene (MR-4), converted from R-4, was more potent against cancer cell lines (WI38VA, IMR-90SV, HeLa, LNCaP, HT-29, and HepG2), but had almost no inhibitory effect on the growth of normal cells (WI38, IMR-90, BJ-T) at the concentrations tested. The IC50 value of MR-4 on the growth inhibition of transformed WI38VA human cells was 0.5 microM, as compared to the value of greater than 50 microM for the normal WI38 cells. Resveratrol, however, did not exhibit such clear differential effect and the IC50 value of R-3 for WI38VA cells was about 50 microM. The growth inhibitory effect of MR-4 correlated with the induction of apoptosis in the transformed cells. When normal WI38 cells and transformed WI38VA cells were compared, MR-4 induced increases of the Bax/Bcl-2 mRNA ratio, p53 and Bax protein level, activation of caspases, and DNA fragmentation in transformed, but not in normal cells. Further analysis revealed that MR-4 caused a rapid appearance of perinuclear aggregation of mitochondria in WI38VA but not in WI38 cells, suggesting that the mitochondria could serve as an early target of MR-4. R-3 also induced apoptosis and mitochondrial clustering but only at a much higher concentration, close to 500 microM. Taken together, the specific activation of the mitochondria-mediated apoptotic pathway could be a major reason for the striking differential growth inhibitory effect of MR-4.
This article was published in Br J Cancer
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy