Induction of apoptosis by green tea catechins in human prostate cancer DU145 cells

Life Sci. 2001 Jan 26;68(10):1207-14. doi: 10.1016/s0024-3205(00)01020-1.


Green tea catechins (GTCs) including (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), (-)-epigallocatechin (EGC), (-)-epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG) and (-)-epicatechin (EC) were shown to suppress cell growth and induce apoptosis in various cell systems in addition to their chemo-preventive effect. In this study, except EC which was inactive, green tea extract (TE) and other 3 GTCs were found to suppress the growth and induce apoptosis in human prostate cancer DU145 cells largely through an increase in reactive oxygen species formation and mitochondrial depolarization. The conclusion was supported by the fact that the profiles for different GTCs in growth suppression, apoptosis induction, ROS formation and mitochondrial depolarization are in a similar order, i.e. ECG > EGCG > EGC > EC. Although the molecular mechanisms are still not clear, apoptosis induced by GTCs is not related to the members of BCL-2 family as EGCG did not alter the expression of BCL-2, BCL-X(L) and BAD in DU145 cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Catechin / pharmacology*
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / analysis
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Tea*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Tea
  • Catechin