B-J favorite drug resveratrol (RV) keeps cranking out the hits:
We report here that chronic treatment with RV in a subapoptotic concentration induces senescence-like growth arrest in tumor cells. In contrast to the widely accepted antioxidant property of RV, we demonstrate that one causative stimulus for senescence induction by chronic RV is an increased level of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The ROS formed upon RV exposure include hydrogen peroxide and superoxide and originate largely from mitochondria. Consistently, co-incubation with the antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine interfered with RV-mediated reactivation of the senescence program. Molecular mediators on the way from increased ROS levels to the observed growth arrest include p38 MAPK, p53, and p21. Moreover, we provide evidence that RV-initiated replication stress, apparent by activation of the ataxia telangiectasia-mutated kinase pathway, is associated with increased ROS levels and senescence induction. This is the first report linking cell cycle effects with a pro-oxidant and pro-senescent effect of RV in cancer cells.
We knew that resveratrol has weird cancer preventative properties, but here is the first sign that RV treatment can help kill mature cancer cells. Read through our resveratrol archives to get a sense of the almost ludicrously positive effects of this simple compound.