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Crystal Structure of Quinone Reductase 2 in Complex with Resveratrol,

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York 10595, and Proteomics Facility, The Burnham Institute, 10901 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California 92037
Cite this: Biochemistry 2004, 43, 36, 11417–11426
Publication Date (Web):August 17, 2004
Copyright © 2004 American Chemical Society

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    Resveratrol has been shown to have chemopreventive, cardioprotective, and antiaging properties. Here, we report that resveratrol is a potent inhibitor of quinone reductase 2 (QR2) activity in vitro with a dissociation constant of 35 nM and show that it specifically binds to the deep active-site cleft of QR2 using high-resolution structural analysis. All three resveratrol hydroxyl groups form hydrogen bonds with amino acids from QR2, anchoring a flat resveratrol molecule in parallel with the isoalloxazine ring of FAD. The unique active-site pocket in QR2 could potentially bind other natural polyphenols such as flavonoids, as proven by the high affinity exhibited by quercetin toward QR2. K562 cells with QR2 expression suppressed by RNAi showed similar properties as resveratrol-treated cells in their resistance to quinone toxicity. Furthermore, the QR2 knockdown K562 cells exhibit increased antioxidant and detoxification enzyme expression and reduced proliferation rates. These observations could imply that the chemopreventive and cardioprotective properties of resveratrol are possibly the results of QR2 activity inhibition, which in turn, up-regulates the expression of cellular antioxidant enzymes and cellular resistance to oxidative stress.

     This work was supported in part by National Institute of Health Grant R21 CA104424.

     The atomic coordinates and structure factors (PDB code 1SG0) have been deposited in the Protein Data Bank, Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ (


     New York Medical College.

     The Burnham Institute.


     To whom correspondence should be addressed. Telephone:  914-594-4728. Fax:  914-594-4058. E-mail:  [email protected].

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