Date of Award

12-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Comparative and Experimental Medicine

Major Professor

Seung J. Baek

Committee Members

Robert Donnell, Daniel Kestler, Naima Moustaid-Moussa

Abstract

Current research suggests resveratrol, a phytoalexin found predominately in grapes, may function as a chemopreventive and/or chemotherapeutic agent for various cancers, including colorectal cancer. However, the underlying mechanism(s) involved in these activities remain elusive. Thus, the objective of the studies discussed here sought to investigate the effect of resveratrol treatment on gene modulation in human colorectal cancer cells in order to identify and characterize novel molecular targets that contribute to the observed anticancer activities of resveratrol. Here, we identify activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) and early growth response-1 (Egr-1) as novel targets of resveratrol and provide data to elucidate the mechanism(s) of regulation and how each target contributes to the anticancer effect of resveratrol in colorectal cancer cells. We demonstrate the involvement of resveratrol in ATF3 transcriptional regulation, which is facilitated by Egr-1 and Krüppel-like factor 4 interactions, and show that ATF3 contributes, at least partially, to resveratrol-induced apoptosis (Chapter 3). Moreover, we suggest that increased Egr-1 transcriptional activity by resveratrol requires posttranslational acetylation of Egr-1 in a SIRT1-independent manner. This acetylation by resveratrol may contribute to Egr-1-mediated expression of the pro-apoptotic protein nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-activated gene-1 (NAG-1) induced by the phytoalexin (Chapter 4). Taken together, the work presented here provide (1) novel mechanisms by which resveratrol induces ATF3 and Egr-1 expression and (2) represent additional explanations for the anti-tumorigenic/anti-carcinogenic effects of resveratrol in human colorectal cancer cells.

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