Plant-derived polyphenolic compounds, such as the stilbene resveratrol (trans-3,4',5-trihydroxystilbene), have been identified as potent anti-cancer agents. Extensive in vitro studies revealed multiple intracellular targets of resveratrol, which affect cell growth, inflammation, apoptosis, angiogenesis, and invasion and metastasis. These include tumor suppressors p53 and Rb; cell cycle regulators, cyclins, CDKs, p21WAF1, p27KIP and INK and the checkpoint kinases ATM/ATR; transcription factors NF-kappaB, AP-1, c-Jun, and c-Fos; angiogenic and metastatic factors, VEGF and matrix metalloprotease 2/9; cyclooxygenases for inflammation; and apoptotic and survival regulators, Bax, Bak, PUMA, Noxa, TRAIL, APAF, survivin, Akt, Bcl2 and Bcl-X(L). In addition to its well-documented anti-oxidant properties, there is increasing evidence that resveratrol exhibits pro-oxidant activity under certain experimental conditions, causing oxidative DNA damage that may lead to cell cycle arrest or apoptosis. This review summarizes in vitro mechanistic data available for resveratrol and discusses new potential anti-cancer targets and the antiproliferative mechanisms of resveratrol.
Athar M, Back JH, Kopelovich L, Bickers DR, Kim AL. Multiple molecular targets of resveratrol: Anti-carcinogenic mechanisms. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2009 June Departments of Dermatology, Columbia University Medical Center, Irving Cancer Research Center, New York, NY 10032, USA.