Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Researchers discover that a protein in grape skins can kill cancer cells


Good news for red wine drinkers

It’s well known that drinking red wine in moderation can have some health benefits, mainly attributed to a compound called resveratrol. Now, scientists at the University of Virginia Health System have discovered how.

They found how resveratrol helps to starve cancer cells by inhibiting the action of a key protein that feeds them. The protein, called nuclear factor- kappa B (NF-kB), is found in the nucleus of all cells and activates genes responsible for cell survival. “We used physiologically-relevant doses of resveratrol and found dramatic effects on human cancer cells,” said Marty Mayo, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics at U.Va.

Mayo said that the resveratrol in one glasses of wine three or four times a week is the right amount to block the protein from feeding cancer cells. Drinking much more than that, however, could stop this affect and, in fact, lead to a greater risk of cancer, he said.

The findings, discovered by Fan Yeung, a postdoctoral fellow at U.Va., are published in the May 20 online edition of the Journal of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) found at:

Resveratrol is an antioxidant found in a number of plants, including grape skins, raspberries, mulberries and peanuts. Its job in nature is to fight fungus during the rainy season, and it is especially prevalent in grapes used in making red wine. Resveratrol is also sold over-the-counter in the U.S. as a nutritional supplement.

For a number of years, scientists have known that resveratrol acts as an anti-cancer agent, but its role has not been well understood. Mayo and his team demonstrated that cancer cells treated with resveratrol died because they became sensitive to a compound called Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNFa). The U.Va. Health System researchers found that resveratrol initiated a reaction in the NF-kB molecule that caused the cancer cells essentially to self-destruct in a process called apoptosis.

The use of NF-kB inhibitors like resveratrol also has important implications for increasing the effectiveness of cancer therapy. “Researchers are always looking for ways to improve cancer therapy,” Mayo said. “Current studies are using compounds similar to TNFa in conjunction with resveratrol to kill cancer cells.” Clinical trials using this approach in patients are showing encouraging results, Mayo said, and this researchmay explain why this combined therapy is effective.

Previous studies have also shown that resveratrol can help control atherosclerosis, heart disease, arthritis, and autoimmune disorders. Mayo believes the inhibition of NF-kB may be responsible in those disorders, as well, since NF-kB can control inflammatory responses.

Mayo’s research on resveratrol was funded by grants

Bob Beard | University of Virginia
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife

nachricht Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>