Preclinical Pharmacological Activities of Epigallocatechin-3-gallate in Signaling Pathways: An Update on Cancer

Molecules. 2020 Jan 22;25(3):467. doi: 10.3390/molecules25030467.


Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the main bioactive component of catechins predominantly present in svarious types of teas. EGCG is well known for a wide spectrum of biological activity as an anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor agent. The effect of EGCG on cell death mechanisms via the induction of apoptosis, necrosis, and autophagy has been documented. Moreover, its anti-proliferative and chemopreventive action has been demonstrated in many cancer cell lines. It was also involved in the modulation of cyclooxygenase-2, in oxidative stress and inflammation of different cell processes. EGCG has been reported as a promising target for plasma membrane proteins, such as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). In addition, it has been demonstrated a mechanism of action relying on the inhibition of ERK1/2, p38 MAPK, NF-κB, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). EGCG and its derivatives were used in proteasome inhibition and they were involved in epigenetic mechanisms. In summary, EGCG is the most predominant and bioactive constituent of teas and it has a pivotal role in cancer prevention. Its preclinical pharmacological activities are associated with complex molecular mechanisms that involve numerous signaling pathways.

Keywords: EGCG; cancer preventive; catechin; epigallocatechin-3-gallate; green tea; pharmacological activities.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Catechin / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • Humans
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Tea / chemistry
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism


  • NF-kappa B
  • Tea
  • Catechin
  • epigallocatechin gallate
  • ErbB Receptors
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases