Pterostilbene inhibited tumor invasion via suppressing multiple signal transduction pathways in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells

Min Hsiung Pan, Yi Siou Chiou, Wei Jen Chen, Ju Ming Wang, Vladimir Badmaev, Chi Tang Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Citations (Scopus)


Pterostilbene, a natural dimethylated analog of resveratrol, is known to have diverse pharmacologic activities including anticancer, anti-inflammation, antioxidant, apoptosis, anti-proliferation and analgesic potential. However, the effects of pterostilbene in preventing invasion of cancer cells have not been studied. Here, we report our finding that pterostilbene significantly suppressed 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA)-induced invasion, migration and metastasis of human hepatoma cells (HepG2 cells). Increase in the enzyme activity, protein and messenger RNA levels of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 were observed in TPA-treated HepG2 cells, and these were blocked by pterostilbene. In addition, pterostilbene can inhibit TPA-induced expression of vascular endothelial growth factor, epidermal growth factor and epidermal growth factor receptor. Transient transfection experiments also showed that pterostilbene strongly inhibited TPA-stimulated nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and activator protein-1 (AP-1)-dependent transcriptional activity in HepG2 cells. Moreover, pterostilbene can suppress TPA-induced activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, c-Jun N-terminal kinases 1/2 and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt and protein kinase C that are upstream of NF-κB and AP-1. Significant therapeutic effects were further demonstrated in vivo by treating nude mice with pterostilbene (50 and 250 mg/kg intraperitoneally) after inoculation with HepG2 cells into the tail vein. Presented data reveal that pterostilbene is a novel, effective, anti-metastatic agent that functions by downregulating MMP-9 gene expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1234-1242
Number of pages9
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cancer Research

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