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BMC Cancer. 2010 Jun 10;10:276. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-10-276.

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate suppresses the expression of HSP70 and HSP90 and exhibits anti-tumor activity in vitro and in vivo.

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Department of Pathology, Chosun University, College of Dentistry, Gwangju 501-759, Republic of Korea.



Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), one of the major catechins in green tea, is a potential chemopreventive agent for various cancers. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of EGCG on the expression of heat shock proteins (HSPs) and tumor suppression.


Cell colony formation was evaluated by a soft agar assay. Transcriptional activity of HSP70 and HSP90 was determined by luciferase reporter assay. An EGCG-HSPs complex was prepared using EGCG attached to the cyanogen bromide (CNBr)-activated Sepharose 4B. In vivo effect of EGCG on tumor growth was examined in a xenograft model.


Treatment with EGCG decreased cell proliferation and colony formation of MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. EGCG specifically inhibited the expression of HSP70 and HSP90 by inhibiting the promoter activity of HSP70 and HSP90. Pretreatment with EGCG increased the stress sensitivity of MCF-7 cells upon heat shock (44 degrees C for 1 h) or oxidative stress (H2O2, 500 microM for 24 h). Moreover, treatment with EGCG (10 mg/kg) in a xenograft model resulted in delayed tumor incidence and reduced tumor size, as well as the inhibition of HSP70 and HSP90 expression.


Overall, these findings demonstrate that HSP70 and HSP90 are potent molecular targets of EGCG and suggest EGCG as a drug candidate for the treatment of human cancer.

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