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Br J Cancer. 2004 Jul 5;91(1):178-85.

Oestrogen inhibits resveratrol-induced post-translational modification of p53 and apoptosis in breast cancer cells.

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The Ordway Research Institute, 150 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, NY 12208, USA.


Resveratrol, a naturally occurring stilbene, induced apoptosis in human breast cancer MCF-7 cells. The mechanism of this effect was dependent on mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK, ERK1/2) activation and was associated with serine phosphorylation and acetylation of p53. Treatment of MCF-7 cells with resveratrol in the presence of 17beta-oestradiol (E(2)) further enhanced MAPK activation, but E(2) blocked resveratrol-induced apoptosis, as measured by nucleosome ELISA and DNA fragmentation assays. E(2) inhibited resveratrol-stimulated phosphorylation of serines 15, 20 and 392 of p53 and acetylation of p53 in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. These effects of E(2) on resveratrol action were blocked by ICI 182,780 (ICI), an inhibitor of the nuclear oestrogen receptor-alpha (ER). ICI 182,780 did not block the actions of resveratrol, alone. Electrophoretic mobility studies of p53 binding to DNA and of p21 expression indicated that E(2) inhibited resveratrol-induced, p53-directed transcriptional activity. These results suggest that E(2) inhibits p53-dependent apoptosis in MCF-7 cells by interfering with post-translational modifications of p53 which are essential for p53-dependent DNA binding and consequent stimulation of apoptotic pathways. These studies provide insight into the complex pathways by which apoptosis is induced by resveratrol in E(2)-depleted and -repleted environments.

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