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Anticancer Drugs. 2014 Oct;25(9):1028-34. doi: 10.1097/CAD.0000000000000128.

Resveratrol sensitizes HepG2 cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis.

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aFirst Department of Internal Medicine Departments of bMolecular and Laboratory Medicine cGastroenterology and Hepatology, Mie University School of Medicine, Tsu, Japan.


Resveratrol is a natural polyphenol found in a wide variety of plants, including grapes, berries, and peanuts. Resveratrol can modulate a wide spectrum of molecular targets, including those involved in cancer signaling pathways. Here, we evaluated the role of resveratrol in tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) and examined the molecular mechanisms in the human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line HepG2. We used the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide assay to assess cell viability, flow cytometry to analyze cell cycle and apoptosis, and immunoblotting to detect protein expression. Resveratrol decreased cell viability at a concentration of 100 μmol/l or higher. At a concentration of 50 μmol/l, resveratrol induced S phase arrest of the cell cycle without apoptosis. In addition, phospho-AMPK increased significantly in a dose-dependent manner. Resveratrol was found to synergistically augment TRAIL-induced apoptosis. The rates of early apoptosis were 3.4, 9.6, and 49.6% on treatment with 50 μmol/l resveratrol, 10 ng/ml TRAIL, and both reagents, respectively. Resveratrol significantly downregulated the expression of survivin in a dose-dependent manner. In conclusion, we found that that resveratrol could augment TRAIL sensitivity by downregulating survivin. These results suggest that combination resveratrol with TRAIL may be an effective new strategy for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma.

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