Resveratrol Reduces Prostate Cancer Growth and Metastasis by Inhibiting the Akt/MicroRNA-21 Pathway

Sandeep Sheth, Sarvesh Jajoo, Tejbeer Kaur, Debashree Mukherjea, Kelly Sheehan, Leonard P. Rybak, Vickram Ramkumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations


The consumption of foods containing resveratrol produces significant health benefits. Resveratrol inhibits cancer by reducing cell proliferation and metastasis and by inducing apoptosis. These actions could be explained by its ability to inhibit (ERK-1/2), Akt and suppressing the levels of estrogen and insulin growth factor -1 (IGF-1) receptor. How these processes are manifested into the antitumor actions of resveratrol is not clear. Using microarray studies, we show that resveratrol reduced the expression of various prostate-tumor associated microRNAs (miRs) including miR-21 in androgen-receptor negative and highly aggressive human prostate cancer cells, PC-3M-MM2. This effect of resveratrol was associated with reduced cell viability, migration and invasiveness. Additionally, resveratrol increased the expression of tumor suppressors, PDCD4 and maspin, which are negatively regulated by miR-21. Short interfering (si) RNA against PDCD4 attenuated resveratrol's effect on prostate cancer cells, and similar effects were observed following over expression of miR-21 with pre-miR-21 oligonucleotides. PC-3M-MM2 cells also exhibited high levels of phospho-Akt (pAkt), which were reduced by both resveratrol and LY294002 (a PI3-kinase inhibitor). MiR-21 expression in these cells appeared to be dependent on Akt, as LY294002 reduced the levels of miR-21 along with a concurrent increase in PDCD4 expression. These in vitro findings were further corroborated in a severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mouse xenograft model of prostate cancer. Oral administration of resveratrol not only inhibited the tumor growth but also decreased the incidence and number of metastatic lung lesions. These tumor- and metastatic-suppressive effects of resveratrol were associated with reduced miR-21 and pAkt, and elevated PDCD4 levels. Similar anti-tumor effects of resveratrol were observed in DU145 and LNCaP prostate cancer cells which were associated with suppression of Akt and PDCD4, but independent of miR-21.These data suggest that resveratrol's anti-tumor actions in prostate cancer could be explained, in part, through inhibition of Akt/miR-21 signaling pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere51655
JournalPloS one
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 24 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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