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Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2011 Jul;4(7):1095-106. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-10-0274. Epub 2011 Apr 5.

Endocytosis of resveratrol via lipid rafts and activation of downstream signaling pathways in cancer cells.

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Inserm UMR866, 6 Boulevard Gabriel, 21000 Dijon, France.


trans-Resveratrol has been proposed to prevent tumor growth and to sensitize cancer cells to anticancer agents. Polyphenol entry into the cells has remained poorly understood. Here, we show that [(3)H]-resveratrol enters colon cancer cells (SW480, SW620, HT29) and leukemia U937 cells through a monensin (5-20 μmol/L) -sensitive process that suggests clathrin-independent endocytosis. Uptake of the molecule can be prevented by methyl-β-cyclodextrin (2-12 mg/mL), nystatin (12 ng/mL), and filipin (1 μg/mL), which all disrupt plasma membrane lipid rafts. Accordingly, radiolabeled resveratrol accumulates in sphingomyelin- and cholesterol-enriched cell fractions. Interestingly, extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK), c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinases (JNK), and Akt also accumulate in lipid rafts on resveratrol exposure (IC(50) at 48 h ≈ 30 μmol/L in SW480 and U937 cells). In these rafts also, resveratrol promotes the recruitment, by the integrin α(V)β(3) (revealed by coimmunoprecipitation with an anti-integrin α(V)β(3) antibody), of signaling molecules that include the FAK (focal adhesion kinase), Fyn, Grb2, Ras, and SOS proteins. Resveratrol-induced activation of downstream signaling pathways and caspase-dependent apoptosis is prevented by endocytosis inhibitors, lipid raft-disrupting molecules, and the integrin antagonist peptide arginine-glycine-aspartate (500 nmol/L). Altogether, these data show the role played by lipid rafts in resveratrol endocytosis and activation of downstream pathways leading to cell death.

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