Resveratrol: one molecule, many targets

IUBMB Life. 2008 May;60(5):323-32. doi: 10.1002/iub.47.


Resveratrol is one of the numerous polyphenolic compounds found in several vegetal sources. In recent years, the interest in this molecule has increased exponentially following the major findings that resveratrol (i) is shown to be chemopreventive in some cancer models, (ii) is cardioprotective, and (iii) has positive effects on several aspects of metabolism, leading to increased lifespan in all the metazoan models tested thus far, including small mammals. Such remarkable properties have elicited a vast interest towards the identification of target proteins of resveratrol and have led to the identification of enzymes inhibited by resveratrol and others whose activation is enhanced. In the vast majority of cases, resveratrol displays inhibitory/activatory effects in the micromolar range, which is potentially attainable pharmacologically, although targets with affinities in the nanomolar range have also been reported. Here, we provide an overview of the various classes of enzymes known to be inhibited (or activated) by resveratrol. It appears that resveratrol, as a pharmacological agent, has a wide spectrum of targets. The biological activities of resveratrol may thus be dependent on its simultaneous activity on multiple molecular targets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Lipoxygenase / metabolism*
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / metabolism*
  • Resveratrol
  • Ribonucleotide Reductases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Stilbenes
  • Lipoxygenase
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases
  • Ribonucleotide Reductases
  • Resveratrol