by Danielly Cristiny Ferraz da Costa, Fabiana Alves Casanova, Julia Quarti, Maitê Santos Malheiros, Daniel Sanches, Patricia Souza dos Santos, Eliane Fialho, Jerson L. Silva
Resveratrol is a promising chemopreventive agent that mediates many cellular targets involved in cancer signaling pathways. p53 has been suggested to play a role in the anticancer properties of resveratrol. We investigated resveratrol-induced cytotoxicity in H1299 cells, which are non-small lung cancer cells that have a partial deletion of the gene that encodes the p53 protein. The results for H1299 cells were compared with those for three cell lines that constitutively express wild-type p53: breast cancer MCF-7, adenocarcinomic alveolar basal epithelia A549 and non-small lung cancer H460. Cell viability assays revealed that resveratrol reduced the viability of all four of these cell lines in a dose- and time-dependent manner. MCF-7, A549 and H460 cells were more sensitive to resveratrol than were H1299 cells when exposed to the drug for 24 h at concentrations above 100 µM. Resveratrol also increased the p53 protein levels in MCF-7 cells without altering the p53 mRNA levels, suggesting a post-translational modulation of the protein. The resveratrol-induced cytotoxicity in these cells was partially mediated by p53 and involved the activation of caspases 9 and 7 and the cleavage of PARP. In H1299 cells, resveratrol-induced cytotoxicity was less pronounced and (in contrast to MCF-7 cells) cell death was not accompanied by caspase activation. These findings are consistent with the observation that MCF-7 cells were positively labeled by TUNEL following exposure to 100 µM resveratrol whereas H1299 cells under similar conditions were not labeled by TUNEL. The transient transfection of a wild-type p53-GFP gene caused H1299 cells to become more responsive to the pro-apoptotic properties of resveratrol, similarly to findings in the p53-positive MCF-7 cells. Our results suggest a possible therapeutic strategy based on the use of resveratrol for the treatment of tumors that are typically unresponsive to conventional therapies because of the loss of normal p53 function.