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Redox Biol. 2014 Jan 10;2:187-95. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2013.12.022. eCollection 2014.

New insights into the mechanisms of polyphenols beyond antioxidant properties; lessons from the green tea polyphenol, epigallocatechin 3-gallate.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, UAB Comprehensive Diabetes Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.
2
Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Nutrition, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.
3
Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, UAB Comprehensive Diabetes Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA ; Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology, UAB Comprehensive Diabetes Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.

Abstract

Green tea is rich in polyphenol flavonoids including catechins. Epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG) is the most abundant and potent green tea catechin. EGCG has been extensively studied for its beneficial health effects as a nutriceutical agent. Based upon its chemical structure, EGCG is often classified as an antioxidant. However, treatment of cells with EGCG results in production of hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyl radicals in the presence of Fe (III). Thus, EGCG functions as a pro-oxidant in some cellular contexts. Recent investigations have revealed many other direct actions of EGCG that are independent from anti-oxidative mechanisms. In this review, we discuss these novel molecular mechanisms of action for EGCG. In particular, EGCG directly interacts with proteins and phospholipids in the plasma membrane and regulates signal transduction pathways, transcription factors, DNA methylation, mitochondrial function, and autophagy to exert many of its beneficial biological actions.

KEYWORDS:

Anti-oxidant; EC, epicatechin; ECG, epicatechin gallate; EGC, epigallocatechin; EGCG; EGCG, epigallocatechin 3-gallate; Polyphenol; Pro-oxidant

PMID:
24494192
PMCID:
PMC3909779
DOI:
10.1016/j.redox.2013.12.022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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