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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007 Nov 3;362(4):951-7. Epub 2007 Aug 24.

Induction of apoptosis by epigallocatechin-3-gallate in human lymphoblastoid B cells.

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Department of Nutrition Management, Faculty of Health Science, Hyogo University, Kakogawa, Hyogo 675-0101, Japan.


(-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a major constituent of green tea polyphenols, has been shown to suppress cancer cell proliferation and induce apoptosis. In this study we investigated its efficacy and the mechanism underlying its effect using human B lymphoblastoid cell line Ramos, and effect of co-treatment with EGCG and a chemotherapeutic agent on apoptotic cell death. EGCG induced dose- and time-dependent apoptotic cell death accompanied by loss of mitochondrial transmembrane potential, release of cytochrome c into the cytosol, and cleavage of pro-caspase-9 to its active form. EGCG also enhanced production of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). Pretreatment with diphenylene iodonium chloride, an inhibitor of NAD(P)H oxidase and an antioxidant, partially suppressed both EGCG-induced apoptosis and production of ROS, implying that oxidative stress is involved in the apoptotic response. Furthermore, we showed that combined-treatment with EGCG and a chemotherapeutic agent, etoposide, synergistically induced apoptosis in Ramos cells.

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