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J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Aug 29;60(34):8395-403. doi: 10.1021/jf302223g. Epub 2012 Aug 16.

Black tea polyphenols reverse epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and suppress cancer invasion and proteases in human oral cancer cells.

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Department of Dentistry and ‡ Clinical Laboratory, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital , No. 110, Section 1, Jianguo N. Road, Taichung, Taiwan.


Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in cancer cells is considered to be a prerequisite for acquiring invasive/migratory phenotype and subsequent metastasis. This study provides molecular evidence associated with the antimetastatic effect of black tea polyphenol extracts (BTE), which contain polyphenols including gallic acid, gallocatechin, catechin, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, epicatechin-3-gallate, and theaflavin 3,3'-digallate, in an an oral squamous cell culture system by showing a nearly complete inhibition on the invasion (p < 0.001) of SCC-4 cells via reduced activities of MMP-2 (p < 0.001) and u-PA (p < 0.001). Immunoblot was performed to find that BTE could induce up-regulation of epithelial markers such as E-cadherin and inhibit mesenchymal markers such as snail-1 and vimentin. BTE inhibited p-FAK and p-paxillin, indicating the anti-EMT effect of BTE in oral squamous cell carcinoma. BTE was evidenced by its inhibition of the tumor growth of SCC-4 cells via cancer cell xenografted nude mice mode. These results suggested that BTE could reduce invasion by reversing EMT in human oral cancer cells.

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