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Thromb Res. 2011 Jan;127(1):e1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.thromres.2010.09.010.

Resveratrol, a phytoestrogen found in red wine, down-regulates protein S expression in HepG2 cells.

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Graduate School of Health and Nutrition Sciences, Nakamura Gakuen University, Fukuoka, Japan.


INTRODUATION: Resveratrol, a phytoestrogen present at a high concentration in red wine, has been reported to possess many health benefit effects that are protective against age-related diseases. Protein S (PS), an important anticoagulant factor in the protein C (PC) anticoagulant pathway, is mainly synthesized by hepatocytes, and its plasma level is decreased in high-estrogen conditions such as pregnancy and oral contraceptive use. The aim of this study was to investigate whether resveratrol affects PS expression in HepG2 cells.


The secreted and intracellular levels of PS were determined by an enzyme-linked ligandsorbent assay and Western blotting. The mRNA expressions of PS, PC and β chain of C4b-binding protein (C4BP-β) were analyzed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. The PS gene promotor activities in HepG2 cells transiently expressing estrogen receptor (ER) α were examined by a luciferase reporter assay.


Resveratrol dose- and time-dependently down-regulated the PS expression in HepG2 cells at a transcriptional level, resulting in a significant decrease in secreted PS; however, the PC and C4BP-β mRNA expressions were not affected. This action of resveratrol was not mediated through either the ER signaling or those of mitogen-activated protein kinases and protein kinase C. Piceatannol, a hydroxylated metabolite of resveratrol, and genistein, an isoflavone found in soy products, also down-regulated the PS expression.


Resveratrol down-regulates the PS expression in HepG2 cells in an ER-independent manner, and the two phenolic hydroxyls at carbon-3 and -5 of resveratrol may be involved in this function.

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