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Chem Biol Interact. 2008 Jan 10;171(1):89-95. Epub 2007 Sep 6.

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) inhibits PC-3 prostate cancer cell proliferation via MEK-independent ERK1/2 activation.

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Department of Human Nutrition, The Ohio State University, 1787 Neil Avenue, 325 Campbell Hall, Columbus, OH 43210, United States.


Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a tea polyphenol, inhibits the proliferation of many cancer cell lines; however, the antiproliferative mechanism(s) are not well-characterized. The objective of this study is to identify the cellular signaling mechanism(s) responsible for the antiproliferative effects of EGCG in the PC-3 prostate cancer cell line. EGCG inhibited PC-3 cell proliferation in a concentration-dependent manner with an IC(50) value of 39.0 microM, but had no effect on the proliferation of a nontumorigenic prostate epithelial cell line (RWPE-1). Treatment of PC-3 cells with EGCG (0-50 microM) resulted in time and concentration-dependent activation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) pathway. EGCG treatment did not induce ERK1/2 activity in RWPE-1 cells. The activation of ERK1/2 by EGCG was not inhibited using PD98059, a potent inhibitor of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK), the immediate upstream kinase responsible for ERK1/2 activation; suggesting a MEK-independent signaling mechanism. Pretreatment of PC-3 cells with a phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI3K) inhibitor partially reduced both EGCG-induced ERK1/2 activation and the antiproliferative effects of this polyphenol. These results suggest that ERK1/2 activation via a MEK-independent, PI3-K-dependent signaling pathway is partially responsible for the antiproliferative effects of EGCG in PC-3 cells.

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