Background: We have previously shown that prostate cancer LNCaP cells are resistant to TRAIL, and downregulation of PI-3K/Akt pathway by molecular and pharmacological means sensitizes cells to undergo apoptosis by TRAIL and curcumin. The purpose of this study was to examine the molecular mechanisms by which resveratrol sensitized TRAIL-resistant LNCaP cells.
Results: Resveratrol inhibited growth and induced apoptosis in androgen-dependent LNCaP cells, but had no effect on normal human prostate epithelial cells. Resveratrol upregulated the expression of Bax, Bak, PUMA, Noxa, Bim, TRAIL-R1/DR4 and TRAIL-R2/DR5, and downregulated the expression of Bcl-2, Bcl-XL, survivin and XIAP. Treatment of LNCaP cells with resveratrol resulted in generation of reactive oxygen species, translocation of Bax and p53 to mitochondria, subsequent drop in mitochondrial membrane potential, release of mitochondrial proteins (cytochrome c, AIF, Smac/DIABLO and Omi/HtrA2), activation of caspase-3 and caspase-9 and induction of apoptosis. The ability of resveratrol to sensitize TRAIL-resistant LNCaP cells was inhibited by dominant negative FADD, caspase-8 siRNA or N-acetyl cysteine. Smac siRNA inhibited resveratrol-induced apoptosis, whereas Smac N7 peptide induced apoptosis and enhanced the effectiveness of resveratrol.
Conclusion: Resveratrol either alone or in combination with TRAIL or Smac can be used for the prevention and/or treatment of human prostate cancer.