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PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e57542. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057542. Epub 2013 Mar 1.

Pterostilbene acts through metastasis-associated protein 1 to inhibit tumor growth, progression and metastasis in prostate cancer.

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  • 1Cancer Institute, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi, United States of America.


The development of natural product agents with targeted strategies holds promise for enhanced anticancer therapy with reduced drug-associated side effects. Resveratrol found in red wine, has anticancer activity in various tumor types. We reported earlier on a new molecular target of resveratrol, the metastasis-associated protein 1 (MTA1), which is a part of nucleosome remodeling and deacetylation (NuRD) co-repressor complex that mediates gene silencing. We identified resveratrol as a regulator of MTA1/NuRD complex and re-activator of p53 acetylation in prostate cancer (PCa). In the current study, we addressed whether resveratrol analogues also possess the ability to inhibit MTA1 and to reverse p53 deacetylation. We demonstrated that pterostilbene (PTER), found in blueberries, had greater increase in MTA1-mediated p53 acetylation, confirming superior potency over resveratrol as dietary epigenetic agent. In orthotopic PCa xenografts, resveratrol and PTER significantly inhibited tumor growth, progression, local invasion and spontaneous metastasis. Furthermore, MTA1-knockdown sensitized cells to these agents resulting in additional reduction of tumor progression and metastasis. The reduction was dependent on MTA1 signaling showing increased p53 acetylation, higher apoptotic index and less angiogenesis in vivo in all xenografts treated with the compounds, and particularly with PTER. Altogether, our results indicate MTA1 as a major contributor in prostate tumor malignant progression, and support the use of strategies targeting MTA1. Our strong pre-clinical data indicate PTER as a potent, selective and pharmacologically safe natural product that may be tested in advanced PCa.

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