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1.  Grapevine cell early activation of specific responses to DIMEB, a resveratrol elicitor 
BMC Genomics  2009;10:363.
In response to pathogen attack, grapevine synthesizes phytoalexins belonging to the family of stilbenes. Grapevine cell cultures represent a good model system for studying the basic mechanisms of plant response to biotic and abiotic elicitors. Among these, modified β-cyclodextrins seem to act as true elicitors inducing strong production of the stilbene resveratrol.
The transcriptome changes of Vitis riparia × Vitis berlandieri grapevine cells in response to the modified β-cyclodextrin, DIMEB, were analyzed 2 and 6 h after treatment using a suppression subtractive hybridization experiment and a microarray analysis respectively. At both time points, we identified a specific set of induced genes belonging to the general phenylpropanoid metabolism, including stilbenes and hydroxycinnamates, and to defence proteins such as PR proteins and chitinases. At 6 h we also observed a down-regulation of the genes involved in cell division and cell-wall loosening.
We report the first large-scale study of the molecular effects of DIMEB, a resveratrol inducer, on grapevine cell cultures. This molecule seems to mimic a defence elicitor which enhances the physical barriers of the cell, stops cell division and induces phytoalexin synthesis.
PMCID: PMC2743712  PMID: 19660119
2.  The Phytoalexin Resveratrol Regulates the Initiation of Hypersensitive Cell Death in Vitis Cell 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e26405.
Resveratrol is a major phytoalexin produced by plants in response to various stresses and promotes disease resistance. The resistance of North American grapevine Vitis rupestris is correlated with a hypersensitive reaction (HR), while susceptible European Vitis vinifera cv. ‘Pinot Noir’ does not exhibit HR, but expresses basal defence. We have shown previously that in cell lines derived from the two Vitis species, the bacterial effector Harpin induced a rapid and sensitive accumulation of stilbene synthase (StSy) transcripts, followed by massive cell death in V. rupestris. In the present work, we analysed the function of the phytoalexin resveratrol, the product of StSy. We found that cv. ‘Pinot Noir’ accumulated low resveratrol and its glycoside trans-piceid, whereas V. rupestris produced massive trans-resveratrol and the toxic oxidative δ-viniferin, indicating that the preferred metabolitism of resveratrol plays role in Vitis resistance. Cellular responses to resveratrol included rapid alkalinisation, accumulation of pathogenesis-related protein 5 (PR5) transcripts, oxidative burst, actin bundling, and cell death. Microtubule disruption and induction of StSy were triggered by Harpin, but not by resveratrol. Whereas most responses proceeded with different amplitude for the two cell lines, the accumulation of resveratrol, and the competence for resveratrol-induced oxidative burst differed in quality. The data lead to a model, where resveratrol, in addition to its classical role as antimicrobial phytoalexin, represents an important regulator for initiation of HR-related cell death.
PMCID: PMC3203900  PMID: 22053190
3.  The jasmonate pathway mediates salt tolerance in grapevines 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2012;63(5):2127-2139.
Salt stress is a major constraint for many crop plants, such as the moderately salt-sensitive economically important fruit crop grapevine. Plants have evolved different strategies for protection against salinity and drought. Jasmonate signalling is a central element of both biotic and abiotic stress responses. To discriminate stress quality, there must be cross-talk with parallel signal chains. Using two grapevine cell lines differing in salt tolerance, the response of jasmonate ZIM/tify-domain (JAZ/TIFY) proteins (negative regulators of jasmonate signalling), a marker for salt adaptation Na+/H+ EXCHANGER (NHX1), and markers for biotic defence STILBENE SYNTHASE (StSy) and RESVERATROL SYNTHASE (RS) were analysed. It is shown that salt stress signalling shares several events with biotic defence including activity of a gadolinium-sensitive calcium influx channel (monitored by apoplastic alkalinization) and transient induction of JAZ/TIFY transcripts. Exogenous jasmonate can rescue growth in the salt-sensitive cell line. Suppression of jasmonate signalling by phenidone or aspirin blocks the induction of JAZ/TIFY transcripts. The rapid induction of RS and StSy characteristic for biotic defence in grapevine is strongly delayed in response to salt stress. In the salt-tolerant line, NHX1 is induced and the formation of reactive oxygen species, monitored as stress markers in the sensitive cell line, is suppressed. The data are discussed in terms of a model where salt stress signalling acts as a default pathway whose readout is modulated by a parallel signal chain triggered by biotic factors downstream of jasmonate signalling.
PMCID: PMC3295401  PMID: 22223808
Grapevine (V. rupestris, V. riparia); Harpin; jasmonic acid; JAZ/TIFY; salt stress
4.  Silymarin secretion and its elicitation by methyl jasmonate in cell cultures of Silybum marianum is mediated by phospholipase D-phosphatidic acid 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2009;61(3):747-754.
The flavonolignan silymarin is released to the extracellular medium of Silybum marianum cultures and its production can be stimulated by the elicitor methyljasmonate (MeJA). The sequence of the signalling processes leading to this response is unknown at present. It is reported in this work that MeJA increased the activity of the enzyme phospholipase D (PLD). Treatment with mastoparan (Mst), a PLD activity stimulator, also enhanced PLD and caused a substantial increase in silymarin production. The application of the product of PLD activity, phosphatidic acid (PA) promoted silymarin accumulation. Altering PLD activity by introducing in cultures n-butanol (nBuOH), which inhibits PA production by PLD, prevented silymarin elicitation by MeJA or Mst and also impeded its release in non-elicited cultures. Treatment with iso-, sec- or tert- butanol had no effect on silymarin production. The exogenous addition of PA reversed the inhibitory action of nBuOH, both in control and MeJA-treated cultures. These results suggest that the enzyme PLD and its product PA mediate silymarin secretion to the medium of S. marianum cultures.
PMCID: PMC2814106  PMID: 20007197
Cell cultures; elicitation; phospholipase D; phosphatidic acid; signalling; silymarin
5.  Transport and accumulation of flavonoids in grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) 
Plant Signaling & Behavior  2008;3(9):626-632.
Flavonoids are a group of secondary metabolites widely distributed in plants that represent a huge portion of the soluble phenolics present in grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.). These compounds play different physiological roles and are often involved in protection against biotic and abiotic stress. Even if the flavonoid biosynthetic pathways have been largely characterized, the mechanisms of their transport and accumulation in cell wall and vacuole are still not completely understood. This review analyses the known mechanisms of flavonoid uptake and accumulation in grapevine, with reference to the transport models and membrane carrier proteins described in other plant species. The effect of different environmental factors on flavonoid biosynthesis and transporters is also discussed.
PMCID: PMC2634543  PMID: 19513253
ABC proteins; active transport; bilitranslocase; biotic and abiotic stress; flavonoid; secondary metabolites
6.  Stilbene synthase gene transfer caused alterations in the phenylpropanoid metabolism of transgenic strawberry (Fragaria×ananassa) 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2009;60(7):2093-2106.
The gene encoding stilbene synthase is frequently used to modify plant secondary metabolism with the aim of producing the self-defence phytoalexin resveratrol. In this study, strawberry (Fragaria×ananassa) was transformed with the NS-Vitis3 gene encoding stilbene synthase from frost grape (Vitis riparia) under the control of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S and the floral filament-specific fil1 promoters. Changes in leaf metabolites were investigated with UPLC-qTOF-MS (ultra performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometry) profiling, and increased accumulation of cinnamate, coumarate, and ferulate derivatives concomitantly with a decrease in the levels of flavonols was observed, while the anticipated resveratrol or its derivatives were not detected. The changed metabolite profile suggested that chalcone synthase was down-regulated by the genetic modification; this was verified by decreased chalcone synthase transcript levels. Changes in the levels of phenolic compounds led to increased susceptibility of the transgenic strawberry to grey mould fungus.
PMCID: PMC2682502  PMID: 19443619
Genetic engineering; LC-MS; metabolite profiling; metabolomics; phenolic compounds; strawberry; stilbene synthase
7.  Evaluating the Polyphenol Profile in Three Segregating Grape (Vitis vinifera L.) Populations 
This paper explores the characteristics of the anthocyanin and flavonol composition and content in grapes from plants resulting from intraspecific crosses of Vitis vinifera varieties Monastrell × Cabernet Sauvignon, Monastrell × Syrah, and Monastrell × Barbera, in order to acquire information for future breeding programs. The anthocyanin and flavonol compositions of twenty-seven hybrids bearing red grapes and 15 hybrids bearing white grapes from Monastrell × Syrah, 32 red and 6 white from Monastrell × Cabernet Sauvignon, and 13 red from Monastrell × Barbera have been studied. Among the intraspecific crosses, plants with grapes presenting very high concentrations of anthocyanins and flavonols were found, indicating a transgressive segregation for this character, and this could lead to highly colored wines with an increased benefits for human health. As regards the qualitative composition of anthocyanins and flavonols, the hydroxylation pattern of the hybrids that also may influence wine color hue and stability presented intermediate values to those of the parentals, indicating that values higher than that showed by the best parental in this respect will be difficult to obtain. The results presented here can be helpful to acquire information for future breeding efforts, aimed at improving fruit quality through the effects of flavonoids.
PMCID: PMC3748753  PMID: 23986879
8.  The Sulfated Laminarin Triggers a Stress Transcriptome before Priming the SA- and ROS-Dependent Defenses during Grapevine's Induced Resistance against Plasmopara viticola 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88145.
Grapevine (Vitis vinifera) is susceptible to many pathogens which cause significant losses to viticulture worldwide. Chemical control is available, but agro-ecological concerns have raised interest in alternative methods, especially in triggering plant immunity by elicitor treatments. The β-glucan laminarin (Lam) and its sulfated derivative (PS3) have been previously demonstrated to induce resistance in grapevine against downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola). However, if Lam elicits classical grapevine defenses such as oxidative burst, pathogenesis-related (PR)-proteins and phytoalexin production, PS3 triggered grapevine resistance via a poorly understood priming phenomenon. The aim of this study was to identify the molecular mechanisms of the PS3-induced resistance. For this purpose we studied i) the signaling events and transcriptome reprogramming triggered by PS3 treatment on uninfected grapevine, ii) grapevine immune responses primed by PS3 during P. viticola infection. Our results showed that i) PS3 was unable to elicit reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, cytosolic Ca2+ concentration variations, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation but triggered a long lasting plasma membrane depolarization in grapevine cells, ii) PS3 and Lam shared a common stress-responsive transcriptome profile that partly overlapped the salicylate- (SA) and jasmonate-(JA)-dependent ones. After P. viticola inoculation, PS3 specifically primed the SA- and ROS-dependent defense pathways leading to grapevine induced resistance against this biotroph. Interestingly pharmacological approaches suggested that the plasma membrane depolarization and the downstream ROS production are key events of the PS3-induced resistance.
PMCID: PMC3916396  PMID: 24516597
9.  Considerable Increase in Resveratrol Production by Recombinant Industrial Yeast Strains with Use of Rich Medium▿  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2010;76(10):3361-3363.
Resveratrol synthesis from p-coumarate was analyzed in different Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains expressing the 4-coumaroyl-coenzyme A ligase (4CL1) from Arabidopsis thaliana and the stilbene synthase (STS) from Vitis vinifera and compared between yeast cultures growing in rich or synthetic medium. The use of rich medium considerably improved resveratrol production, and resveratrol yields of up to 391 mg/liter could be achieved with an industrial Brazilian sugar cane-fermenting yeast.
PMCID: PMC2869157  PMID: 20348297
10.  Genome-wide analysis of the grapevine stilbene synthase multigenic family: genomic organization and expression profiles upon biotic and abiotic stresses 
BMC Plant Biology  2012;12:130.
Plant stilbenes are a small group of phenylpropanoids, which have been detected in at least 72 unrelated plant species and accumulate in response to biotic and abiotic stresses such as infection, wounding, UV-C exposure and treatment with chemicals. Stilbenes are formed via the phenylalanine/polymalonate-route, the last step of which is catalyzed by the enzyme stilbene synthase (STS), a type III polyketide synthase (PKS). Stilbene synthases are closely related to chalcone synthases (CHS), the key enzymes of the flavonoid pathway, as illustrated by the fact that both enzymes share the same substrates. To date, STSs have been cloned from peanut, pine, sorghum and grapevine, the only stilbene-producing fruiting-plant for which the entire genome has been sequenced. Apart from sorghum, STS genes appear to exist as a family of closely related genes in these other plant species.
In this study a complete characterization of the STS multigenic family in grapevine has been performed, commencing with the identification, annotation and phylogenetic analysis of all members and integration of this information with a comprehensive set of gene expression analyses including healthy tissues at differential developmental stages and in leaves exposed to both biotic (downy mildew infection) and abiotic (wounding and UV-C exposure) stresses. At least thirty-three full length sequences encoding VvSTS genes were identified, which, based on predicted amino acid sequences, cluster in 3 principal groups designated A, B and C. The majority of VvSTS genes cluster in groups B and C and are located on chr16 whereas the few gene family members in group A are found on chr10. Microarray and mRNA-seq expression analyses revealed different patterns of transcript accumulation between the different groups of VvSTS family members and between VvSTSs and VvCHSs. Indeed, under certain conditions the transcriptional response of VvSTS and VvCHS genes appears to be diametrically opposed suggesting that flow of carbon between these two competing metabolic pathways is tightly regulated at the transcriptional level.
This study represents an overview of the expression pattern of each member of the STS gene family in grapevine under both constitutive and stress-induced conditions. The results strongly indicate the existence of a transcriptional subfunctionalization amongst VvSTSs and provide the foundation for further functional investigations about the role and evolution of this large gene family. Moreover, it represents the first study to clearly show the differential regulation of VvCHS and VvSTS genes, suggesting the involvement of transcription factors (TFs) in both the activation and repression of these genes.
PMCID: PMC3433347  PMID: 22863370
Stilbene synthase; Chalcone synthase; Abiotic stress; Downy mildew; Grapevine
11.  Resveratrol exhibits a strong cytotoxic activity in cultured cells and has an antiviral action against polyomavirus: potential clinical use 
Resveratrol is a non flavonoid polyphenol compound present in many plants and fruits and, at especially high concentrations, in the grape berries of Vitis vinifera. This compound has a strong bioactivity and its cytoprotective action has been demonstrated, however at high concentrations the drug exhibits also an effective anti-proliferative action. We recently showed its ability to abolish the effects of oxidative stress in cultured cells. In this work we assayed the bioactivity of resveratrol as antiproliferative and antiviral drug in cultured fibroblasts. Studies by other Authors showed that this natural compound inhibits the proliferation of different viruses such as herpes simplex, varicella-zoster and influenza A. The results presented here show an evident toxic activity of the drug at high concentrations, on the other hand at sub-cytotoxic concentrations, resveratrol can effectively inhibit the synthesis of polyomavirus DNA. A possible interpretation is that, due to the damage caused by resveratrol to the plasma membrane, the transfer of the virus from the endoplasmic reticulum to the nucleus, may be hindered thus inhibiting the production of viral DNA.
The mouse fibroblast line 3T6 and the human tumor line HL60 were used throughout the work. Cell viability and vital cell count were assessed respectively, by the MTT assay and Trypan Blue staining. Cytotoxic properties and evaluation of viral DNA production by agarose gel electrophoresis were performed according to standard protocols.
Our results show a clear dose dependent both cytotoxic and antiviral effect of resveratrol respectively at high and low concentrations. The cytotoxic action is exerted towards a stabilized cell-line (3T6) as well as a tumor-line (HL60). Furthermore the antiviral action is evident after the phase of virion entry, therefore data suggest that the drug acts during the synthesis of the viral progeny DNA.
Resveratrol is cytotoxic and inhibits, in a dose dependent fashion, the synthesis of polyomavirus DNA in the infected cell. Furthermore, this inhibition is observed at non cytotoxic concentrations of the drug. Our data imply that cyto-toxicity may be attributed to the membrane damage caused by the drug and that the transfer of polyomavirus from the endoplasmic reticulum to the cytoplasm may be hindered. In conclusion, the cytotoxic and antiviral properties of resveratrol make it a potential candidate for the clinical control of proliferative as well as viral pathologies.
PMCID: PMC2710315  PMID: 19570215
12.  Anti-obesity effect of resveratrol-amplified grape skin extracts on 3T3-L1 adipocytes differentiation 
Nutrition Research and Practice  2012;6(4):286-293.
Resveratrol (3,4,5-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene), a phytoalexin found in grape skin, grape products, and peanuts as well as red wine, has been reported to have various biological and pharmacological properties. The purpose of this study was to investigate the anti-obesity effect of resveratrol-amplified grape skin extracts on adipocytes. The anti-obesity effects of grape skin extracts were investigated by measuring proliferation and differentiation in 3T3-L1 cells. The effect of grape skin ethanol extracts on cell proliferation was detected by the MTS assay. The morphological changes and degree of adipogenesis of preadipocyte 3T3-L1 cells were measured by Oil Red-O staining assay. Treatment with extracts of resveratrol-amplified grape skin decreased lipid accumulation and glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase activity without affecting 3T3-L1 cell viability. Grape skin extract treatment resulted in significantly attenuated expression of key adipogenic transcription factors, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor, CCAAT/enhancer-binding proteins, and their target genes (FAS, aP2, SCD-1, and LPL). These results indicate that resveratrol-amplified grape skin extracts may be useful for preventing obesity by regulating lipid metabolism.
PMCID: PMC3439571  PMID: 22977681
Grape skin extracts; resveratrol; 3T3-L1; adipocyte differentiation
13.  Transcriptional profile of Taxus chinensis cells in response to methyl jasmonate 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:295.
Methyl jasmonate (MeJA) has been successfully used as an effective elicitor to enhance production of taxol and other taxanes in cultured Taxus cells. However the mechanism of MeJA-mediated taxane biosynthesis remains unclear. Genomic information for species in the genus Taxus is currently unavailable. Therefore, information about the transcriptome of Taxus cells and specifically, description of changes in gene expression in response to MeJA, is needed for the better exploration of the biological mechanisms of MeJA-mediated taxane biosynthesis.
In this research, the transcriptome profiles of T. chinensis cells at 16 hours (T16) after MeJA treatment and of mock-treated cells (T0) were analyzed by “RNA-seq” to investigate the transcriptional alterations of Taxus cell in response to MeJA elicitation. More than 58 million reads (200 bp in length) of cDNA from both samples were generated, and 46,581 unigenes were found. There were 13,469 genes found to be expressed differentially between the two timepoints, including all of the known jasmonate (JA) biosynthesis/JA signaling pathway genes and taxol-related genes. The qRT-PCR results showed that the expression profiles of 12 randomly selected DEGs and 10 taxol biosynthesis genes were found to be consistent with the RNA-Seq data. MeJA appeared to stimulate a large number of genes involved in several relevant functional categories, such as plant hormone biosynthesis and phenylpropanoid biosynthesis. Additionally, many genes encoding transcription factors were shown to respond to MeJA elicitation.
The results of a transcriptome analysis suggest that exogenous application of MeJA could induce JA biosynthesis/JA signaling pathway/defence responses, activate a series of transcription factors, as well as increase expression of genes in the terpenoid biosynthesis pathway responsible for taxol synthesis. This comprehensive description of gene expression information could greatly facilitate our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of MeJA-mediated taxane biosynthesis in Taxus cells.
PMCID: PMC3414795  PMID: 22748077
14.  UV-B-induced signaling events leading to enhanced-production of catharanthine in Catharanthus roseus cell suspension cultures 
BMC Plant Biology  2007;7:61.
Elicitations are considered to be an important strategy towards improved in vitro production of secondary metabolites. In cell cultures, biotic and abiotic elicitors have effectively stimulated the production of plant secondary metabolites. However, molecular basis of elicitor-signaling cascades leading to increased production of secondary metabolites of plant cell is largely unknown. Exposure of Catharanthus roseus cell suspension culture to low dose of UV-B irradiation was found to increase the amount of catharanthine and transcription of genes encoding tryptophan decarboxylase (Tdc) and strictosidine synthase (Str). In the present study, the signaling pathway mediating UV-B-induced catharanthine accumulation in C. roseus suspension cultures were investigated.
Here, we investigate whether cell surface receptors, medium alkalinization, Ca2+ influx, H2O2, CDPK and MAPK play required roles in UV-B signaling leading to enhanced production of catharanthine in C. roseus cell suspension cultures. C. roseus cells were pretreated with various agonists and inhibitors of known signaling components and their effects on the accumulation of Tdc and Str transcripts as well as amount of catharanthine production were investigated by various molecular biology techniques. It has been found that the catharanthine accumulation and transcription of Tdc and Str were inhibited by 3–4 fold upon pretreatment of various inhibitors like suramin, N-acetyl cysteine, inhibitors of calcium fluxes, staurosporine etc.
Our results demonstrate that cell surface receptor(s), Ca2+ influx, medium alkalinization, CDPK, H2O2 and MAPK play significant roles in UV-B signaling leading to stimulation of Tdc and Str genes and the accumulation of catharanthine in C. roseus cell suspension cultures. Based on these findings, a model for signal transduction cascade has been proposed.
PMCID: PMC2213653  PMID: 17988378
15.  Genome-wide identification of WRKY family genes and their response to cold stress in Vitis vinifera 
BMC Plant Biology  2014;14:103.
WRKY transcription factors are one of the largest families of transcriptional regulators in plants. WRKY genes are not only found to play significant roles in biotic and abiotic stress response, but also regulate growth and development. Grapevine (Vitis vinifera) production is largely limited by stressful climate conditions such as cold stress and the role of WRKY genes in the survival of grapevine under these conditions remains unknown.
We identified a total of 59 VvWRKYs from the V. vinifera genome, belonging to four subgroups according to conserved WRKY domains and zinc-finger structure. The majority of VvWRKYs were expressed in more than one tissue among the 7 tissues examined which included young leaves, mature leaves, tendril, stem apex, root, young fruits and ripe fruits. Publicly available microarray data suggested that a subset of VvWRKYs was activated in response to diverse stresses. Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) results demonstrated that the expression levels of 36 VvWRKYs are changed following cold exposure. Comparative analysis was performed on data from publicly available microarray experiments, previous global transcriptome analysis studies, and qRT-PCR. We identified 15 VvWRKYs in at least two of these databases which may relate to cold stress. Among them, the transcription of three genes can be induced by exogenous ABA application, suggesting that they can be involved in an ABA-dependent signaling pathway in response to cold stress.
We identified 59 VvWRKYs from the V. vinifera genome and 15 of them showed cold stress-induced expression patterns. These genes represented candidate genes for future functional analysis of VvWRKYs involved in the low temperature-related signal pathways in grape.
PMCID: PMC4021059  PMID: 24755338
WRKY transcription factor family; Grapevine; Biotic and abiotic stress; Cold stress
16.  Advanced Knowledge of Three Important Classes of Grape Phenolics: Anthocyanins, Stilbenes and Flavonols 
Grape is qualitatively and quantitatively very rich in polyphenols. In particular, anthocyanins, flavonols and stilbene derivatives play very important roles in plant metabolism, thanks to their peculiar characteristics. Anthocyanins are responsible for the color of red grapes and wines and confer organoleptic characteristics on the wine. They are used for chemotaxonomic studies and to evaluate the polyphenolic ripening stage of grape. They are natural colorants, have antioxidant, antimicrobial and anticarcinogenic activity, exert protective effects on the human cardiovascular system, and are used in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Stilbenes are vine phytoalexins present in grape berries and associated with the beneficial effects of drinking wine. The principal stilbene, resveratrol, is characterized by anticancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective activity. Resveratrol dimers and oligomers also occur in grape, and are synthetized by the vine as active defenses against exogenous attack, or produced by extracellular enzymes released from pathogens in an attempt to eliminate undesirable toxic compounds. Flavonols are a ubiquitous class of flavonoids with photo-protection and copigmentation (together with anthocyanins) functions. The lack of expression of the enzyme flavonoid 3′,5′-hydroxylase in white grapes restricts the presence of these compounds to quercetin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin derivatives, whereas red grapes usually also contain myricetin, laricitrin and syringetin derivatives. In the last ten years, the technological development of analytical instrumentation, particularly mass spectrometry, has led to great improvements and further knowledge of the chemistry of these compounds. In this review, the biosynthesis and biological role of these grape polyphenols are briefly introduced, together with the latest knowledge of their chemistry.
PMCID: PMC3821578  PMID: 24084717
grape; polyphenols; anthocyanins; stilbenes; flavonols
17.  Resveratrol Oligomers for the Prevention and Treatment of Cancers 
Resveratrol (3,4′,5-trihydroxystilbene) is a naturally derived phytoalexin stilbene isolated from grapes and other plants, playing an important role in human health and is well known for its extensive bioactivities, such as antioxidation, anti-inflammatory, anticancer. In addition to resveratrol, scientists also pay attention to resveratrol oligomers, derivatives of resveratrol, which are characterized by the polymerization of two to eight, or even more resveratrol units, and are the largest group of oligomeric stilbenes. Resveratrol oligomers have multiple beneficial properties, of which some are superior in activity, stability, and selectivity compared with resveratrol. The complicated structures and diverse biological activities are of significant interest for drug research and development and may provide promising prospects as cancer preventive and therapeutical agents. This review presents an overview on preventive or anticancer properties of resveratrol oligomers.
PMCID: PMC3988857  PMID: 24799982
18.  Genomic and transcriptomic analysis of the AP2/ERF superfamily in Vitis vinifera 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:719.
The AP2/ERF protein family contains transcription factors that play a crucial role in plant growth and development and in response to biotic and abiotic stress conditions in plants. Grapevine (Vitis vinifera) is the only woody crop whose genome has been fully sequenced. So far, no detailed expression profile of AP2/ERF-like genes is available for grapevine.
An exhaustive search for AP2/ERF genes was carried out on the Vitis vinifera genome and their expression profile was analyzed by Real-Time quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR) in different vegetative and reproductive tissues and under two different ripening stages.
One hundred and forty nine sequences, containing at least one ERF domain, were identified. Specific clusters within the AP2 and ERF families showed conserved expression patterns reminiscent of other species and grapevine specific trends related to berry ripening. Moreover, putative targets of group IX ERFs were identified by co-expression and protein similarity comparisons.
The grapevine genome contains an amount of AP2/ERF genes comparable to that of other dicot species analyzed so far. We observed an increase in the size of specific groups within the ERF family, probably due to recent duplication events. Expression analyses in different aerial tissues display common features previously described in other plant systems and introduce possible new roles for members of some ERF groups during fruit ripening. The presented analysis of AP2/ERF genes in grapevine provides the bases for studying the molecular regulation of berry development and the ripening process.
PMCID: PMC3022922  PMID: 21171999
19.  Water Deficit Increases Stilbene Metabolism in Cabernet Sauvignon Berries 
The impact of water deficit on stilbene biosynthesis in wine grape (Vitis vinifera) berries was investigated. Water deficit increased the accumulation of trans-piceid (the glycosylated form of resveratrol) by 5-fold in Cabernet Sauvignon berries but not in Chardonnay. Similarly, water deficit significantly increased the transcript abundance of genes involved in the biosynthesis of stilbene precursors in Cabernet Sauvignon. Increased expression of stilbene synthase, but not that of resveratrol-O-glycosyltransferase, resulted in increased trans-piceid concentrations. In contrast, the transcript abundance of the same genes declined in Chardonnay in response to water deficit. Twelve single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified in the promoters of stilbene synthase genes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. These polymorphisms resulted in eight changes within the predicted cis regulatory elements in Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. These results suggest that cultivar-specific molecular mechanisms might exist that control resveratrol biosynthesis in grapes.
PMCID: PMC3015458  PMID: 21128664
Grape berry; stilbene synthase; stilbenes; Vitis vinifera; water deficit
20.  Resveratrol-Sensitized UVA Induced Apoptosis in Human Keratinocytes through Mitochondrial Oxidative Stress and Pore Opening 
Resveratrol (3, 5, 4′-trihydroxy- trans- stilbene), a polyphenol compound, is derived from natural products such as the skin of red grapes, blueberries and cranberries. Resveratrol not only exhibits antioxidant, cardioprotection, and anti-aging properties, but can also inhibit cancer cell growth and induce apoptosis. It has been shown that resveratrol inhibits the activation of Nf-kB and subsequently down regulates the expression of Nf-kB regulated genes such as interleukin-2 and Bcl-2, leading to cell cycle arrest and increased apoptosis in multiple myeloma cells. In the skin, resveratrol has been reported to sensitize keratinocytes to UVA induced apoptosis. However, the effect of resveratrol on opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore has not been previously examined. Our data show that UVA (14J/cm2) along with resveratrol causes massive oxidative stress in mitochondria. As a consequence of oxidative stress, the mitochondrial membrane potential decreases which results in opening of the mitochondrial pores ultimately leading to apoptosis in human keratinocytes. These results may have clinical implications for development of future chemotherapeutic treatment for tumors of the skin.
PMCID: PMC3394459  PMID: 22673012
resveratrol; mitochondria; keratinocytes; UVA induced apoptosis; mitochondrial membrane potential; mitochondrial permeability transition pore, reactive oxygen species
21.  Metabolic Engineering of Yeast and Plants for the Production of the Biologically Active Hydroxystilbene, Resveratrol 
Resveratrol, a stilbenic compound deriving from the phenyalanine/polymalonate route, being stilbene synthase the last and key enzyme of this pathway, recently has become the focus of a number of studies in medicine and plant physiology. Increased demand for this molecule for nutraceutical, cosmetic and possibly pharmaceutic uses, makes its production a necessity. In this context, the use of biotechnology through recombinant microorganisms and plants is particularly promising. Interesting results can indeed arise from the potential of genetically modified microorganisms as an alternative mechanism for producing resveratrol. Strategies used to tailoring yeast as they do not possess the genes that encode for the resveratrol pathway, will be described. On the other hand, most interest has centered in recent years, on STS gene transfer experiments from various origins to the genome of numerous plants. This work also presents a comprehensive review on plant molecular engineering with the STS gene, resulting in disease resistance against microorganisms and the enhancement of the antioxidant activities of several fruits in transgenic lines.
PMCID: PMC3359829  PMID: 22654481
22.  Inhibition of STAT3 Expression and Signaling in Resveratrol-Differentiated Medulloblastoma Cells1 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2008;10(7):736-744.
In this study, the potential influence of resveratrol (3,5,4′-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene) in signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling of medulloblastoma cells was evaluated by checking the status of STAT3 signaling and its downstream gene expression in two medulloblastoma cell lines (UW228-2 and UW228-3) with and without resveratrol treatment. The results revealed that resveratrol induced neuronal differentiation of medulloblastoma cells. Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 expression and phosphorylation were detected in normally cultured UW228-2 and UW228-3 cells that were apparently attenuated after resveratrol treatment. The expression of STAT3 downstream genes, survivin, cyclin D1, Cox-2, and c-Myc, was suppressed but Bcl-2 was enhanced by resveratrol. Meanwhile, the production and secretion of leukemia inhibitory factor, a STAT3 activator, became active in resveratrol-treated cells. To further ascertain the significance of STAT3 signaling for medulloblastoma cells, AG490, a selective inhibitor of STAT3 phosphorylation, was used to treat UW228-3 cells. Phosphorylation of STAT3 was inhibited by AG490 accompanied with growth suppression, differentiation-like changes, and down-regulation of survivin, cyclin D1, Cox-2, and c-Myc. Our data thus suggest the importance of STAT3 signaling in maintenance and survival of medulloblastoma cells. This signaling may be the major target of resveratrol. Enhanced leukemia inhibitory factor and Bcl-2 expressions in resveratrol-treated cells might reflect a compensatory response to the loss of STAT3 function.
PMCID: PMC2435009  PMID: 18592012
23.  Metabolic constituents of grapevine and grape-derived products 
Phytochemistry Reviews  2009;9(3):357-378.
The numerous uses of the grapevine fruit, especially for wine and beverages, have made it one of the most important plants worldwide. The phytochemistry of grapevine is rich in a wide range of compounds. Many of them are renowned for their numerous medicinal uses. The production of grapevine metabolites is highly conditioned by many factors like environment or pathogen attack. Some grapevine phytoalexins have gained a great deal of attention due to their antimicrobial activities, being also involved in the induction of resistance in grapevine against those pathogens. Meanwhile grapevine biotechnology is still evolving, thanks to the technological advance of modern science, and biotechnologists are making huge efforts to produce grapevine cultivars of desired characteristics. In this paper, important metabolites from grapevine and grape derived products like wine will be reviewed with their health promoting effects and their role against certain stress factors in grapevine physiology.
PMCID: PMC2928446  PMID: 20835385
Grapevine; Medicinal importance; Phytochemistry; Resistance
24.  Resveratrol inhibits benzo[a]pyrene–DNA adduct formation in human bronchial epithelial cells 
British Journal of Cancer  2004;91(2):333-338.
Resveratrol (trans-3,4′,5-trihydroxystilbene), a phytoalexin present in various plants and foods, has in several in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated cancer chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic potential. We investigated the in vitro effect of resveratrol on benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) -induced DNA adducts in human bronchial epithelial cells. This was compared to the effect of resveratrol on the expression of the cytochrome P450 (CYP) genes CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 and the formation of B[a]P metabolites. Exposure of BEAS-2B and BEP2D cells to B[a]P and increasing concentrations of resveratrol resulted in a dose- and time-dependent inhibition of DNA adduct formation quantified by 32P-postlabelling. Supporting this result, resveratrol was shown to inhibit CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 gene expression, as measured by real-time reverse transcriptase—polymerase chain reaction. Also, a significant correlation was found between the number of DNA adducts and the mRNA levels of these genes. Using HPLC analysis, a concomitant decrease in the formation of B[a]P-derived metabolic products was detected. In conclusion, these data lend support to a chemopreventive role of resveratrol in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-induced carcinogenesis.
PMCID: PMC2409823  PMID: 15162144
DNA adducts; cytochrome P450; human bronchial epithelial cells; metabolites; PAH; real-time RT–PCR; resveratrol
25.  Potential of Resveratrol Analogues as Antagonists of Osteoclasts and Promoters of Osteoblasts 
Calcified Tissue International  2010;87(5):437-449.
The plant phytoalexin resveratrol was previously demonstrated to inhibit the differentiation and bone resorbing activity of osteoclasts, to promote the formation of osteoblasts from mesenchymal precursors in cultures, and inhibit myeloma cell proliferation, when used at high concentrations. In the current study, we screened five structurally modified resveratrol analogues for their ability to modify the differentiation of osteoclasts and osteoblasts and proliferation of myeloma cells. Compared to resveratrol, analogues showed an up to 5,000-fold increased potency to inhibit osteoclast differentiation. To a lesser extent, resveratrol analogues also promoted osteoblast maturation. However, they did not antagonize the proliferation of myeloma cells. The potency of the best-performing candidate in vitro was tested in vivo in an ovariectomy-induced model of osteoporosis, but an effect on bone loss could not be detected. Based on their powerful antiresorptive activity in vitro, resveratrol analogues might be attractive modulators of bone remodeling. However, further studies are required to establish their efficacy in vivo.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00223-010-9399-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC2964465  PMID: 20842496
Resveratrol; Resveratrol analogue; Osteoclast; Osteoblast; Multiple myeloma

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