Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) inhibits the migratory behavior of tumor bronchial epithelial cells

Respir Res. 2008 Apr 21;9(1):33. doi: 10.1186/1465-9921-9-33.


Background: Many studies associated the main polyphenolic constituent of green tea, (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), with inhibition of cancers, invasion and metastasis. To date, most of the studies have focused on the effect of EGCG on cell proliferation or death. Since cell migration is an important mechanism involved in tumor invasion, the aim of the present work was to target another approach of the therapeutic effect of EGCG, by investigating its effect on the cell migratory behavior.

Methods: The effect of EGCG (at concentrations lower than 10 microg/ml) on the migration speed of invasive cells was assessed by using 2D and 3D models of cell culture. We also studied the effects of EGCG on proteinases expression by RT-PCR analysis. By immunocytochemistry, we analyzed alterations of vimentin organization in presence of different concentrations of EGCG.

Results: We observed that EGCG had an inhibitory effect of cell migration in 2D and 3D cell culture models. EGCG also inhibited MMP-2 mRNA and protein expression and altered the intermediate filaments of vimentin.

Conclusion: Taken together, our results demonstrate that EGCG is able to inhibit the migration of bronchial tumor cells and could therefore be an attractive candidate to treat tumor invasion and cell migration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use
  • Bronchial Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Bronchial Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Bronchial Neoplasms / genetics
  • Bronchial Neoplasms / pathology
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Catechin / pharmacology
  • Catechin / therapeutic use
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cell Death / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / drug effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Epithelial Cells / drug effects*
  • Epithelial Cells / enzymology
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • Microscopy, Video
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Protease Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Protease Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Time Factors
  • Vimentin / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • Protease Inhibitors
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Vimentin
  • Catechin
  • epigallocatechin gallate
  • MMP2 protein, human
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2