The prosurvival role of autophagy in resveratrol-induced cytotoxicity in GH3 cells

Xuexin Zhang, Wanhai Xu, Jun Su, Ming Chu, Hua Jin, Guofu Li, Chunlei Tan, Xin Wang, Chao Wang
International Journal of Molecular Medicine 2014, 33 (4): 987-93
In a previous study, we reported that resveratrol exerts antitumor effects through the estrogen receptor in prolactinoma. The autophagy/lysosomal degradation pathway plays an important role in damage control and energy efficiency. In this study, we investigated the involvement of autophagy and the related signaling pathways in resveratrol-induced apoptosis of GH3 cells. We demonstrate that resveratrol inhibits cell proliferation and induces apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner in GH3 cells. The cleavage of PARP was also observed, and the activation of caspase-3 and caspase-8 was detected. Consistent with this finding, the inhibition of caspase activation effectively attenuated resveratrol-induced cell apoptosis. In addition, the decreased level of Bcl-2 was also observed. The induction of autophagy was confirmed by the detection of the formation of autophagic vacuoles, and the increase in microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3)-II and beclin-1 levels, two hallmarks of autophagy. Pre-treatment with bafilomycin A1 or 3-methyladenine, inhibitors of autophagy, enhanced the resveratrol-mediated caspase activation and cell death. Moreover, resveratrol induced the activation of ERK1/2, as well as the downregulation of Akt and mTOR phosphorylation. Taken together, these findings indicate that resveratrol induces caspase-dependent apoptosis and decreases Bcl-2 levels. In addition, resveratrol-induced autophagy is regulated by the PI3K/Akt/mTOR and ERK1/2 pathways. Furthermore, the inhibition of autophagy increases the cytotoxicity of resveratrol to GH3 cells.

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