Effect of catechins and citrus flavonoids on invasion in vitro

Clin Exp Metastasis. 1991 Jan-Feb;9(1):13-25. doi: 10.1007/BF01831706.


Catechins, a group of flavonoid molecules, inhibit invasion of mouse MO4 cells into embryonic chick heart fragments in vitro. The anti-invasive effects can be ranked as follows: (+)-catechin greater than (-)-epicatechin greater than 3-O-methyl-(+)-catechin greater than 3-O-palmitoyl-(+)-catechin. Most of the catechins are unstable in cell culture media, and their spontaneous rearrangement products tend to bind to extracellular matrix (ECM). Due to these interactions proteases such as tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) are linked to the ECM glycoprotein laminin. This leads to a partial inactivation of the enzyme. Within the group of catechins we found a positive correlation between anti-invasive activity and linking of t-PA to laminin. Citrus flavonoids are also anti-invasive in vitro (tangeretin greater than nobiletin greater than hesperidin = naringin). However, these stable molecules show poor affinity for ECM, and do not link enzymes to laminin. These data suggest that catechins and citrus flavonoids inhibit invasion in vitro by different mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives
  • Catechin / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Flavones*
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Hesperidin / pharmacology
  • Laminin / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness*
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator / metabolism


  • Flavones
  • Flavonoids
  • Laminin
  • meciadanol
  • Catechin
  • nobiletin
  • Hesperidin
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator
  • tangeretin