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Int J Cancer. 2003 Oct 10;106(6):871-8.

Green tea catechins inhibit VEGF-induced angiogenesis in vitro through suppression of VE-cadherin phosphorylation and inactivation of Akt molecule.

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Vascular Biology Laboratory, JM USDA-Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA.


Studies have indicated that the consumption of green tea is associated with a reduced risk of developing certain forms of cancer and angiogenesis. The mechanism of inhibition of angiogenesis by green tea or its catechins, however, has not been well-established. Vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin, an adhesive molecule located at the site of intercellular contact, is involved in cell-cell recognition during vascular morphogenesis. The extracellular domain of VE-cadherin mediates initial cell adhesion, whereas the cytosolic tail binding with beta-catenin is required for interaction with the cytoskeleton and junctional strength. Therefore, the cadherin-catenin adhesion system is implicated in cell recognition, differentiation, growth and migration of capillary endothelium. Using tube formation of human microvascular endothelial cells (HMVEC) in culture as an in vitro model of angiogenesis, we reported that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced tube formation is inhibited by anti-VE-cadherin antibody and dose-dependently by green tea catechins. We also demonstrated here that inhibition of tube formation by epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), one of the green tea catechins, is in part mediated through suppression of VE-cadherin tyrosine phosphorylation and inhibition of Akt activation during VEGF-induced tube formation. These findings indicate that VE-cadherin and Akt, known downstream proteins in VEGFR-2-mediated cascade, are the new-targeted proteins by which green tea catechins inhibit angiogenesis.

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