Pterostilbene-Mediated Inhibition of Cell Proliferation and Cell Death Induction in Amelanotic and Melanotic Melanoma

Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Jan 6;24(2):1115. doi: 10.3390/ijms24021115.


Melanoma is one of the fastest-growing cancers worldwide. Treatment of advanced melanoma is very difficult; therefore, there is growing interest in the identification of new therapeutic agents. Pterostilbene is a natural stilbene that has been found to have several pharmacological activities. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of pterostilbene on the proliferation and apoptosis of human melanoma cells. Proliferation of pterostilbene-treated amelanotic (C32) and melanotic (A2058) melanoma cells was determined by BRDU assay. Flow cytometric analyses were used to determine cell cycle progression, and further molecular investigations were performed using real-time RT-qPCR. The expression of the p21 protein and the DNA fragmentation assay were determined by the ELISA method. The results revealed that pterostilbene reduced the proliferation of both amelanotic and melanotic melanoma cells. Pterostilbene induced apoptosis in amelanotic C32 melanoma cells, and this effect was mediated by an increase in the expression of the BAX, CASP9, and CASP9 genes; induction of caspase 3 activity; and DNA degradation. Pterostilbene did not affect the activation of apoptosis in the A2058 cell line. It may be concluded that pterostilbene has anticancer potential against human melanoma cells; however, more studies are still needed to fully elucidate the effects of pterostilbene on amelanotic and melanotic melanoma cells.

Keywords: anticancer activity; apoptosis; melanoma; proliferation; pterostilbene.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Humans
  • Melanoma, Amelanotic* / drug therapy
  • Melanoma, Cutaneous Malignant
  • Skin Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Stilbenes* / pharmacology
  • Stilbenes* / therapeutic use


  • pterostilbene
  • Stilbenes