Green tea polyphenol-(-)epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG)-is a potent chemopreventive agent in many test systems and has been shown to inhibit tumor promotion and induce apoptosis. In this study we describe a novel observation that EGCG displayed strong inhibitory effects on the proliferation and viability of HTB-94 human chondrosarcoma cells in a dose-dependent manner and induced apoptosis. Investigation of the mechanism of EGCG-induced apoptosis revealed that treatment with EGCG resulted in DNA fragmentation, induction of caspase-3/CPP32 activity, and cleavage of the death substrate poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase (PARP). Pretreatment of cells with a synthetic pan-caspase inhibitor (Z-VAD-FMK) and a caspase-3-specific inhibitor (DEVD-CHO) prevented EGCG-induced PARP cleavage. The induction of apoptosis by EGCG via activation of caspase-3/CPP32-like proteases may provide a mechanistic explanation for its antitumor effects.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.