RESVERATROL GAINS A NEW TALENT AGAINST STRESS
A research group from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) discovered a novel target for resveratrol against stress as published this month of December (Nature, doi:10.1038). The Nature article is fascinating, among other things, because it demonstrates further how versatile resveratrol is.
RESVERATROL REALLY DOES IT ALL
As the article reviews in its abstract about resveratrol, “resveratrol…provides cardio-neuro-protective, anti-diabetic and anti-cancer effects”. For a compound to have such an extensive repertoire of functions, it becomes apparent that it must have multiple cellular targets to respond in a versatile manner. 
Resveratrol Involed In Stress Response
Case in point, researchers in 2012 discovered that resveratrol directly binds and blocks the activity of enzymes called phosphodiesterase (PDE), and this was believed to mediate essential stress response proteins that lead to the prevention of age-associated metabolic diseases (for a review of that article, please read our February 2012 Resveratrol Newsletter).
More Stress Protection From Resveratrol
In this newly published article, the TSRI research group discovered that resveratrol is directly bound to an enzyme called tRNA synthetase, which is usually involved in making proteins. The novel aspect of this observation is that when resveratrol is attached to tRNA synthetases, it redirects the enzymes to activate stress protein pathways, which is an entirely new function for this enzyme. However, this article is similar to prior resveratrol research in that resveratrol is involved in the activation of stress responses that may lead to the protection of cells and tissues and prevent the age-associated diseases that may lead to an extension of lifespan. In discovering a new cellular target for resveratrol, the researchers also noted that this target was 1,000 times more sensitive than other resveratrol targets. This, too, was novel and may help explain what has been apparent to many researchers, that resveratrol affects diverse cells differently and at different concentrations. The resveratrol stress activation pathway involving tRNA synthetase may be more critical for some cells than others. With this in mind, it will be interesting to determine how to maximize the benefits of resveratrol in a cell/tissue-specific manner that delays the onset of age-related diseases. Until then, regardless of the target, stress pathway activation, or sensitivity, please continue to take resveratrol to obtain the health benefits.