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Mutat Res. 2005 Dec 11;591(1-2):147-60. Epub 2005 Jun 29.

Modulation of signal transduction by tea catechins and related phytochemicals.

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Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center and Department of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, HHSC-1509, 701 West 168 Street, NY 10032-2704, USA.


Epidemiologic studies in human populations and experimental studies in rodents provide evidence that green tea and its constituents can inhibit both the development and growth of tumors at a variety of tissue sites. In addition, EGCG, a major biologically active component of green tea, inhibits growth and induces apoptosis in a variety of cancer cell lines. The purpose of this paper is to review evidence that these effects are mediated, at least in part, through inhibition of the activity of specific receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and related downstream pathways of signal transduction. We also review evidence indicating that the antitumor effects of the related polyphenolic phytochemicals resveratrol, genistein, curcumin, and capsaicin are exerted via similar mechanisms. Some of these agents (EGCG, genistein, and curcumin) appear to directly target specific RTKs, and all of these compounds cause inhibition of the activity of the transcription factors AP-1 and NF-kappaB, thus inhibiting cell proliferation and enhancing apoptosis. Critical areas of future investigation include: (1) identification of the direct molecular target(s) of EGCG and related polyphenolic compounds in cells; (2) the in vivo metabolism and bioavailability of these compounds; (3) the ancillary effects of these compounds on tumor-stromal interactions; (4) the development of synergistic combinations with other antitumor agents to enhance efficacy in cancer prevention and therapy, and also minimize potential toxicities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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