The protective effects of eating fruits and vegetables in the prevention of several degenerative pathologies have been attributed at least in part to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of polyphenols. In this study, we investigated the effects of two polyphenols, quercetin and resveratrol, on red blood cell Band 3 tyrosine phosphorylation signalling activated by peroxynitrite. Peroxynitrite is a physiological oxidant scavenged largely by the erythrocyte and formed by the reaction between nitrogen monoxide and superoxide anion. Quercetin and its structurally analogous (+)-catechin inhibited the peroxynitrite-dependent upregulation of Band 3 tyrosine phosphorylation. Quercetin was found to downregulate the activity of syk, which is upstream in the Band 3 tyrosine phosphorylation cascade, and partially prevented peroxynitrite-mediated phosphotyrosine phosphatase inhibition. Resveratrol and hydroxytyrosol, unexpectedly, amplified peroxynitrite-dependent upregulation of Band 3 tyrosine phosphorylation through the activation of lyn, a kinase of the src family. The present results clearly indicate that polyphenols may activate cell transduction pathways in different and sometimes opposite ways.
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