Send to

Choose Destination
Cancer Res. 2007 May 1;67(9):4303-10.

A novel prodrug of the green tea polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate as a potential anticancer agent.

Author information

The Prevention Program, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, and Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan 48201, USA.


The most abundant and biologically active green tea catechin, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate or (-)-EGCG, has been shown to act as a proteasome inhibitor and tumor cell death inducer. However, (-)-EGCG is unstable under physiologic conditions and has poor bioavailability. Previously, in an attempt to increase the stability of (-)-EGCG, we introduced peracetate protections to its reactive hydroxyl groups and showed that this peracetate-protected (-)-EGCG [Pro-EGCG (1); formerly named compound 1] could be converted into (-)-EGCG under cell-free conditions. In the current study, we provide evidence that when cultured human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells were treated with Pro-EGCG (1), (-)-EGCG was not only converted but also accumulated, accompanied by enhanced levels of proteasome inhibition, growth suppression, and apoptosis induction, compared with cells treated with natural (-)-EGCG. To investigate the potential use of Pro-EGCG (1) as a novel prodrug that converts to a cellular proteasome inhibitor and anticancer agent in vivo, MDA-MB-231 tumors were induced in nude mice, followed by treatment with Pro-EGCG (1) or (-)-EGCG for 31 days. Results of this in vivo study showed a significant inhibition of breast tumor growth by Pro-EGCG (1), compared with (-)-EGCG, associated with increased proteasome inhibition and apoptosis induction in tumor tissues. In conclusion, we have shown that Pro-EGCG (1) increases the bioavailability, stability, and proteasome-inhibitory and anticancer activities of (-)-EGCG in human breast cancer cells and tumors, suggesting its potential use for cancer prevention and treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center