Vitis thunbergii var. taiwaniana (VTT) is an indigenous Taiwanese wild grape and is used as a folk medicine in Taiwan. VTT is rich in polyphenols, especially quercetin and resveratrol derivatives, which were demonstrated to exhibit inhibitory activities against carcinogenesis and prevent some neurodegenerative diseases. (-)-Vitisin B is one of the resveratrol tetramers extracted from VTT. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms of (-)-vitisin B on the induction of apoptosis in human HL-60 promyelocytic leukemia cells. First, (-)-vitisin B significantly inhibited cell proliferation through inducing cell apoptosis. This effect appeared to occur in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Cell-cycle distribution was also examined, and we found that (-)-vitisin B significantly induced a sub-G1 population in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, (-)-vitisin B exhibited stronger inhibitory effects on cell proliferation than resveratrol. Second, (-)-vitisin B dose dependently induced apoptosis-related protein expressions, such as the cleavage form of caspase-3, caspase-8, caspase-9, poly(ADP ribose) polymerase, and the proapoptotic Bax protein. Third, (-)-vitisin B treatment also resulted in increases in c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) phosphorylation and Fas ligand (FasL) expression. Moreover, the (-)-vitisin B-induced FasL expression and caspase-3 activation could be reversed by a JNK inhibitor. These results suggest that (-)-vitisin B-induced apoptosis of leukemia cells might be mediated through activation of JNK and Fas death-signal transduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-319
Number of pages7
JournalDrug and Chemical Toxicology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


  • (-)-vitisin B
  • Apoptosis
  • Fas ligand
  • JNK
  • Leukemia
  • Vitis thunbergii var. taiwaniana

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Chemical Health and Safety


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