PloS one

Resveratrol induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in malignant NK cells via JAK2/STAT3 pathway inhibition.

PMID 23372833


Natural killer (NK) cell malignancies, particularly aggressive NK cell leukaemias and lymphomas, have poor prognoses. Although recent regimens with L-asparaginase substantially improved outcomes, novel therapeutic approaches are still needed to enhance clinical response. Resveratrol, a naturally occurring polyphenol, has been extensively studied for its anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective and anti-cancer activities. In this study, we investigated the potential anti-tumour activities of resveratrol against the NK cell lines KHYG-1, NKL, NK-92 and NK-YS. Resveratrol induced robust G0/G1 cell cycle arrest, significantly suppressed cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in a dose- and time-dependent manner for all four cell lines. In addition, resveratrol suppressed constitutively active STAT3 in all the cell lines and inhibited JAK2 phosphorylation but had no effect on other upstream mediators of STAT3 activation, such as PTEN, TYK2, and JAK1. Resveratrol also induced downregulation of the anti-apoptotic proteins MCL1 and survivin, two downstream effectors of the STAT3 pathway. Finally, resveratrol induced synergistic effect on the apoptotic and antiproliferative activities of L-asparaginase against KHYG-1, NKL and NK-92 cells. These results suggest that resveratrol may have therapeutic potential against NK cell malignancies. Furthermore, our finding that resveratrol is a bonafide JAK2 inhibitor extends its potential benefits to other diseases with dysregulated JAK2 signaling.

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