Lung carcinogenesis: resveratrol modulates the expression of genes involved in the metabolism of PAH in human bronchial epithelial cells

Int J Cancer. 2001 Apr 1;92(1):18-25.


Studies suggest that resveratrol (trans-3,4',5-trihydroxystilbene), which is a diphenolic antioxidant found in plants and foods, has cancer chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic potential. A lower risk of lung cancer among consumers of wine compared with consumers of other beverages has been observed, which may be partly attributed to the high content of resveratrol particularly in red wine. We have studied the effect of resveratrol on the expression of genes involved in the metabolism of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the human bronchial epithelial cell line BEP2D. Expression of the cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1) and 1B1 (CYP1B1), microsomal epoxide hydrolase (mEH), and glutathione S-transferase P1 (GSTP1) genes was measured by quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. The cells were treated either with benzo[a]pyrene or 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin in the presence or absence of resveratrol. Resveratrol inhibited both the constitutive and the induced expression of CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 in a dose-dependent manner. In contrast, the expression of the mEH gene was increased in response to resveratrol and no change in the expression of GSTP1 was found. The altered gene expression in response to resveratrol was reflected in a reduced overall level of benzo[a]pyrene metabolism. These data indicate that resveratrol may exert lung cancer chemopreventive activity through altering the expression of genes involved in the metabolism of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, resulting in altered formation of carcinogenic benzo[a]pyrene metabolites in human bronchial epithelial cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases*
  • Benzo(a)pyrene / administration & dosage
  • Benzo(a)pyrene / metabolism
  • Bronchi / metabolism*
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1 / genetics
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1B1
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Epoxide Hydrolases / genetics
  • Gene Expression / drug effects*
  • Glutathione S-Transferase pi
  • Glutathione Transferase / genetics
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / genetics
  • Lung Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / administration & dosage
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / metabolism
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / metabolism*
  • Resveratrol
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Isoenzymes
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Stilbenes
  • Benzo(a)pyrene
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases
  • CYP1B1 protein, human
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1B1
  • GSTP1 protein, human
  • Glutathione S-Transferase pi
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • Epoxide Hydrolases
  • Resveratrol