According to the authors of a study published in the journal Gene, approximately 3.6% human cancers worldwide derive from chronic alcohol drinking, including oral, liver, breast and other organs. The authors state that their studies in vivo and in vitro have demonstrated that diluted ethanol increase RNA Pol III gene transcription and promotes cell proliferation and transformation, as well as tumour formation. However, it is unclear about the effect of red wines on the human cancer cells.
In the current study, the authors investigated the roles of red wine in human cancer cell growth, colony formation and RNA Pol III gene transcription. Low concentration (12.5 mM to 25 mM) of ethanol enhances cell proliferation of breast and esophageal cancer lines, whereas its higher concentration (100 mM to 200 mM) slightly decreases the rates. In contrast, red wines significantly repress cell proliferation of different human cancer lines from low dose to high dose. The results reveal that the red wine also inhibits colony formation of human breast cancer and esophageal carcinoma cells. The effects of repression on different human cancer lines are in a dose-dependent manner.
Further analysis indicates that ethanol increases RNA Pol III gene transcription, whereas the red wines significantly reduce transcription of the genes. Interestingly, the effects of mature wine (brick red) on cancer cell phenotypes are much stronger than young wine (intense violet). Together, these new findings suggest that red wines may contain some bioactive components, which are able to inhibit human cancer cell growth and colony formation.
Source: The influences of red wine in phenotypes of human cancer cells. Chen S, Yi Y, Xia T, Hong Z, Zhang Y, Shi G, He Z, Zhong S. Gene. 2019 Jun 20;702:194- 204. .