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J Biol Chem. 2013 Dec 20;288(51):36662-75. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M113.466490. Epub 2013 Oct 31.

Resveratrol induces a mitochondrial complex I-dependent increase in NADH oxidation responsible for sirtuin activation in liver cells.

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From Angers Université, Angers F-49000, France.


Resveratrol (RSV) has been shown to be involved in the regulation of energetic metabolism, generating increasing interest in therapeutic use. SIRT1 has been described as the main target of RSV. However, recent reports have challenged the hypothesis of its direct activation by RSV, and the signaling pathways remain elusive. Here, the effects of RSV on mitochondrial metabolism are detailed both in vivo and in vitro using murine and cellular models and isolated enzymes. We demonstrate that low RSV doses (1-5 μM) directly stimulate NADH dehydrogenases and, more specifically, mitochondrial complex I activity (EC50 ∼1 μM). In HepG2 cells, this complex I activation increases the mitochondrial NAD(+)/NADH ratio. This higher NAD(+) level initiates a SIRT3-dependent increase in the mitochondrial substrate supply pathways (i.e. the tricarboxylic acid cycle and fatty acid oxidation). This effect is also seen in liver mitochondria of RSV-fed animals (50 mg/kg/day). We conclude that the increase in NADH oxidation by complex I is a crucial event for SIRT3 activation by RSV. Our results open up new perspectives in the understanding of the RSV signaling pathway and highlight the critical importance of RSV doses used for future clinical trials.


Complex I; Mitochondria; Mitochondrial Metabolism; NAD; NADH Dehydrogenase; Resveratrol; Sirtuins

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