Cell cycle dysregulation by green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2000 Aug 28;275(2):328-34. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.2000.3297.


Epidemiological, in vitro cell culture, and in vivo animal studies have shown that green tea or its constituent polyphenols, particularly its major polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) may protect against many cancer types. In earlier studies, we showed that green tea polyphenol EGCG causes a G0/G1-phase cell cycle arrest and apoptosis of human epidermoid carcinoma (A431) cells. We also demonstrated that these effects of EGCG may be mediated through the inhibition of nuclear factor kappa B that has been associated with cell cycle regulation and cancer. In this study, employing A431 cells, we provide evidence for the involvement of cyclin kinase inhibitor (cki)-cyclin-cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk) machinery during cell cycle deregulation by EGCG. As shown by immunoblot analysis, EGCG treatment of the cells resulted in significant dose- and time-dependent (i) upregulation of the protein expression of WAF1/p21, KIP1/p27, p16 and p18, (ii) downmodulation of the protein expression of cyclin D1, cdk4 and cdk6, but not of cyclin E and cdk2, (iii) inhibition of the kinase activities associated with cyclin E, cyclin D1, cdk2, cdk4 and cdk6. Taken together, our study suggests that EGCG causes an induction of G1-phase ckis, which inhibit the cyclin-cdk complexes operative in G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle thereby causing a G0/G1-phase arrest of the cell cycle, which is an irreversible process ultimately resulting in an apoptotic cell death. We suggest that the naturally occurring agents such as green tea polyphenols which may inhibit cell cycle progression could be developed as potent anticancer agents for the management of cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Catechin / pharmacology
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / physiology
  • Humans
  • Tea / chemistry*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Tea
  • Catechin
  • epigallocatechin gallate