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Toxicol Sci. 2014 Jan;137(1):65-75. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kft238. Epub 2013 Oct 23.

A combination of pterostilbene with autophagy inhibitors exerts efficient apoptotic characteristics in both chemosensitive and chemoresistant lung cancer cells.

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* Cancer Research Center, Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua 500, Taiwan, Republic of China;


The emergence of multidrug resistance (MDR), meaning that cancer cells develop simultaneous resistance to different drugs, has limited the clinical efficacy and application of chemotherapy. Pterostilbene, a naturally occurring phytoalexin exerts a variety of pharmacologic activities, including cancer prevention, cytotoxicity, and antioxidant activity. In this study, results proved the capability of pterostilbene to effectively inhibit the cell viability of docetaxel-induced MDR human lung cancer cell lines through cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Meanwhile, the observation of LC3-II production and formation of acidic vesicular organelles revealed an induction of autophagy at an early stage by pterostilbene, which was triggered by an inhibition of the AKT and JNK pathways and activation of ERK1/2. Furthermore, pretreatment with the autophagy inhibitors 3-methyladenine and bafilomycin A1 or with beclin-1 small interfering RNA was able to enhance pterostilbene-triggered apoptosis. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that pterostilbene causes autophagy and apoptosis in lung cancer cells. Furthermore, pterostilbene in combination with autophagy inhibitors may strengthen the efficiency of chemotherapeutic strategies in both chemosensitive and chemoresistant lung cancer cells, which may be of immense value for the clinical management of lung cancer patients with MDR.


apoptosis; autophagy.; multidrug resistance; pterostilbene

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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