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Cancer Detect Prev. 2007;31(6):499-504.

(-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate downregulates estrogen receptor alpha function in MCF-7 breast carcinoma cells.

Author information

1
Department of Experimental Pathology, University of Bologna, V.S. Giacomo 14, 40126 Bologna, Italy. fulvia.farabegoli@unibo.it

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

(-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the most active catechin present in green tea, demonstrated to have chemopreventive action and to kill cancer cells selectively. As a previous study found that catechins could compete with 17-beta-estradiol for binding to estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha), we asked whether EGCG could regulate ERalpha action.

METHODS:

We used MCF-7, a breast carcinoma cell line having a high level of ERalpha expression. The cells were treated with various EGCG concentrations and cell viability was evaluated by MTT assay. ERalpha and pS2 expression were analyzed by RT-PCR after RNA extraction. To better define EGCG action in relation to ERalpha, we studied EGCG cytotoxicity on MCF-7 resistant to tamoxifen (MCF-7tam), MCF-7 treated with 10(-7)M ICI 182,780 for 8 days and on MDA-MB-231, a cell line that lacked ERalpha by flow cytometry (FCM).

RESULTS:

Both ERalpha and pS2 mRNA were expressed in samples treated with low EGCG concentration (30 microg/ml). At this concentration, no cell change was detectable. In contrast, pS2 expression was lost in samples treated with 100 microg/ml EGCG for 24h, indicating ERalpha alteration. EGCG cytotoxicity was lower when ERalpha was not present (MDA-MB-231) or inactivated (by tamoxifen or ICI 182,780).

CONCLUSIONS:

Functionally active ERalpha may have a role in EGCG cytotoxicity, increasing the sensitivity to the drug. As higher EGCG concentrations also killed cells resistant to tamoxifen or treated by 10(-7)M ICI 182,780, EGCG ought to be better investigated in breast carcinoma cells treated with drugs targeted to steroid receptors, as a potential complement of therapy.

PMID:
18061364
DOI:
10.1016/j.cdp.2007.10.018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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