The resveratrol analogue 3,5,3',4',5'-pentahydroxy-trans-stilbene inhibits cell transformation via MEK
Resveratrol, present in grapes and red wine, is reported to be a natural chemopreventive agent against cancer. However, the concentrations required to exert these effects may be difficult to achieve by drinking only 1 or 2 glasses of red wine a day. Therefore, developing more potent, nontoxic analogues of resveratrol may provide a feasible means of achieving an effective physiologic concentration. Here we report that the resveratrol analogue, 3,5,3',4',5'-pentahydroxy-trans-stilbene (RSVL2), inhibits 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced neoplastic transformation in JB6 P+ mouse epidermal cells. Further, we identified MEK/ERK signaling as the direct molecular target for the anticancer effects of RSVL2 and demonstrated that RSVL2 inhibited MEK1, but not Raf1 or ERK2 kinase activity. RSVL2 also dose-dependently suppressed MEK1 kinase activity induced by TPA and the inhibition of H-Ras-induced cell transformation was much stronger for RSVL2 than for PD098059 or resveratrol. Both in vitro and ex vivo pull-down assays indicated that RSVL2, but not resveratrol, directly bound with GST-MEK1, but did not compete with ATP for binding. Docking data indicated that the low inhibitory activity of resveratrol might be due to the lack of the hydroxyl group at the meta position of the B ring, thereby preventing resveratrol from forming a hydrogen bond with the backbone amide group of Ser212, which is the key interaction for stabilizing the inactive conformation of the activation loop. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.