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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Aug 19;334(1):223-30.

Inhibition of melanoma cell proliferation by resveratrol is correlated with upregulation of quinone reductase 2 and p53.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY 10595, USA.


Resveratrol (trans-3,4',5-trihydroxystilbene) is a grape-derived polyphenol under intensive study for its potential in cancer prevention. In the case of cultured human melanoma cells, no one to our knowledge has investigated whether resveratrol exerts similar anti-proliferative activities in cells with different metastatic potential. Therefore, we examined the effects of this polyphenol on the growth of weakly metastatic Line IV clone 3 and on autologous, highly metastatic Line IV clone 1 cultured melanoma cells. Comparable inhibition of growth and colony formation resulted from treatment by resveratrol in both cell lines. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that resveratrol-treated clone 1 cells had a dose-dependent increase in S phase and a concomitant reduction in the G(1) phase. No detectable change in cell cycle phase distribution was found in similarly treated clone 3 cells. Western blots demonstrated a significant increase in the expression of the tumor suppressor gene p53, without a commensurate change in p21 and several other cell cycle regulatory proteins in both cell types. Chromatography of Line IV clone 3 and clone 1 cell extracts on resveratrol affinity columns revealed that the basal expression of dihydronicotinamide riboside quinone reductase 2 (NQO2) was higher in Line IV clone 1 than clone 3 cells. Levels of NQO2 but not its structural analog NQO1 were dose-dependently increased by resveratrol in both cell lines. We propose that induction of NQO2 may relate to the observed increased expression of p53 that, in turn, contributes to the observed suppression of cell growth in both melanoma cell lines.

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