Resveratrol arrests the cell division cycle at S/G2 phase transition

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1998 Sep 8;250(1):53-8. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.1998.9263.


Resveratrol (3,5,4'-trihydroxystilbene) is a naturally occurring phytoalexin, found in grapes and wine, which has been reported to exert a variety of important pharmacological effects. We have investigated the activity of resveratrol on proliferation and differentiation of the promyelocitic cell line HL-60. A concentration as low as 30 microM causes a complete arrest of proliferation and a rapid induction of differentiation towards a myelo-monocytic phenotype. Analyses by flow cytometry showed the absence of the G2/M peak and the accumulation of cells in G1 and S phases. Moreover, at the concentrations employed, a very low amount of apoptotic cells was evidenced. A detailed biochemical analysis demonstrated that the G1 phase of the cell division cycle engine was completely unmodified by resveratrol addition, thus indicating that the G1 --> S transition occurs normally. Conversely, after only 24 h treatment, a significant increase of cyclins A and E could be observed along with the accumulation of cdc2 in the inactive phosphorylated form. These data demonstrate that resveratrol causes a complete and reversible cell cycle arrest at the S phase checkpoint.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Division / drug effects*
  • DNA Replication / drug effects
  • G2 Phase / drug effects*
  • HL-60 Cells
  • Humans
  • Resveratrol
  • S Phase / drug effects*
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology*


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Stilbenes
  • Resveratrol