As a nature phytoalexin found in grapes, resveratrol has been proposed as a potential drug for cancer chemoprevention and treatment. However, its poor bioavailability limits its potential clinical application. Pterostilbene, the natural dimethylated analog of resveratrol with greater bioavailability, was confirmed to inhibit tumor growth both in vivo and in vitro, demonstrating its potential for further clinical application. In the current study, we found that pterostilbene could markedly inhibit the growth of two independent breast cancer cell lines. Both apoptosis and cell cycle arrest as well as the inhibition of wnt singling was induced by pterostilbene. The dominant-active mutant of β-catenin could reverse the growth inhibitory effect of pterostilbene, indicating that the inhibition of wnt signaling is important to the growth inhibitory effect of pterostilbene. Interestingly, pterostilbene induced autophagy and blockage of autophagy augmented pterostilbene-induced growth inhibition, suggesting that the combination of autophagy inhibitors with pterostilbene and other therapeutics such as endocrine drugs could serve as a new and promising strategy for the treatment of breast cancer cells.
Keywords: Pterostilbene; apoptosis; phytoalexins; tumor growth inhibition; wnt singling.