Resveratrol induces apoptosis of human nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells via activation of multiple apoptotic pathways

Tsung Teng Huang, Hung Chi Lin, Chang Chieh Chen, Chia Chen Lu, Chia Fong Wei, Ting Shu Wu, Fu Guo Liu, Hsin Chih Lai

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31 Scopus citations


Resveratrol, a naturally occurring dietary compound with chemopreventive properties has been reported to trigger a variety of cancer cell types to apoptosis. Whether resveratrol shows any activity on human nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) cells remained to be determined. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect and mechanism of resveratrol on human NPC cells. Treatment of resveratrol resulted in significant decrease in cell viability of NPC cell lines in a dose- and time-dependent manner. A dose-dependent apoptotic cell death was also measured by flow cytometery analysis. Molecular mechanistic studies of apoptosis unraveled resveratrol treatment resulted in a significant loss of mitochondrial transmembrane potential, release of cytochrome c, enhanced expression of Fas ligand (FasL), and suppression of glucose-regulated protein 78 kDa (GRP78). These were followed by activation of caspases-9, -8, -4, and -3, subsequently leading to DNA fragmentation and cell apoptosis. Furthermore, up-regulation of proapoptotic Bax and down-regulation of antiapoptotic Bcl-2 protein were also observed. Taken together, resveratrol induces apoptosis in human NPC cells through regulation of multiple apoptotic pathways, including death receptor, mitochondria, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Resveratrol can be developed as an effective compound for human NPC treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)720-728
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011


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