Resveratrol inhibits the epithelial-mesenchymal transition of pancreatic cancer cells via suppression of the PI-3K/Akt/NF-κB pathway

Curr Med Chem. 2013;20(33):4185-4194. doi: 10.2174/09298673113209990251.


Resveratrol (trans-3,4',5-trihydroxystilbene), a natural polyphenolic compound detected in grapes, berries, and peanuts, possesses a wide spectrum of pharmacological properties, including anti-tumor metastasis activities. However, the underlying mechanisms through which resveratrol inhibits the metastasis of pancreatic cancer are still not fully elucidated. As epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a key player for metastasis in tumor, the aim of this study is to determine whether resveratrol affects EMT in pancreatic cancer cells and the related mechanism. The results showed that resveratrol not only inhibited cell proliferation, migration, and invasion in a dose-dependent manner, but also mediated the expression of EMT-related genes (E-cadherin, N-cadherin, vimentin, MMP-2, and MMP-9) which are important for cancer cellular motility, invasiveness and metastasis during tumorigenesis. In addition, the levels of phospho-Akt and phospho- NF-κB in BxPC-3 and Panc-1 cells were reduced by both resveratrol and LY294002 (a PI3-K inhibitor). Furthermore, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)-induced alterations in cell morphology that are characteristic of EMT as well as increased cell invasive ability could also be reversed by resveratrol. Taken together, these data indicate that resveratrol suppresses pancreatic cancer migration and invasion through the inhibition of the PI-3K/Akt/NF-κB signaling pathway. This study suggests that resveratrol may be a potential anticancer agent for pancreatic cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / toxicity*
  • Cadherins / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Chromones / pharmacology
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / metabolism
  • Morpholines / pharmacology
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Phosphoinositide-3 Kinase Inhibitors
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism
  • Resveratrol
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*
  • Stilbenes / toxicity*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / pharmacology
  • Vimentin / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cadherins
  • Chromones
  • Morpholines
  • NF-kappa B
  • Phosphoinositide-3 Kinase Inhibitors
  • Stilbenes
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Vimentin
  • 2-(4-morpholinyl)-8-phenyl-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases
  • Resveratrol