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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006 Dec;118(6):1369-74. Epub 2006 Oct 13.

Epigallocatechin gallate, the main polyphenol in green tea, binds to the T-cell receptor, CD4: Potential for HIV-1 therapy.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom.



The green tea flavonoid, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), has been proposed to have an anti-HIV-1 effect by preventing the binding of HIV-1 glycoprotein (gp) 120 to the CD4 molecule on T cells.


To demonstrate that EGCG binds to the CD4 molecule at the gp120 attachment site and inhibits gp120 binding at physiologically relevant levels, thus establishing EGCG as a potential therapeutic treatment for HIV-1 infection.


Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to examine the binding of EGCG and control, (-)-catechin, to CD4-IgG2 (PRO 542). Gp120 binding to human CD4+ T cells was analyzed by flow cytometry.


Addition of CD4 to EGCG produced a linear decrease in nuclear magnetic resonance signal intensity from EGCG but not from the control, (-)-catechin. In saturation transfer difference experiments, addition of 5.8 micromol/L CD4 to 310 micromol/L EGCG produced strong saturation at the aromatic rings of EGCG, but identical concentrations of (-)-catechin produced much smaller effects, implying EGCG/CD4 binding strong enough to reduce gp120/CD4 binding substantially. Molecular modeling studies suggested a binding site for EGCG in the D1 domain of CD4, the pocket that binds gp120. Physiologically relevant concentrations of EGCG (0.2 micromol/L) inhibited binding of gp120 to isolated human CD4+ T cells.


We have demonstrated clear evidence of high-affinity binding of EGCG to the CD4 molecule with a Kd of approximately 10 nmol/L and inhibition of gp120 binding to human CD4+ T cells.


Epigallocatechin gallate has potential use as adjunctive therapy in HIV-1 infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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