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Carcinogenesis. 2002 Jan;23(1):217-21.

Black tea polyphenols inhibit IGF-I-induced signaling through Akt in normal prostate epithelial cells and Du145 prostate carcinoma cells.

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The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Science Park-Research Division, PO Box 389, Smithville, TX 78957, USA.


Tea polyphenols have been proposed as potential chemopreventive agents against prostate cancer, primarily because of their high intake by populations with reduced cancer incidence and their reported ability to inhibit proliferation and increase apoptosis in prostate cancer cells in culture. Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) has been implicated as a risk factor for the development of prostate cancer by epidemiological studies and has been shown to be causative in animal models. One of the primary signal transduction pathways activated by IGF-I binding to its receptor is the Akt pathway. We determined that phosphorylated Akt levels are very low in serum-starved human normal prostate epithelial cells (PrEC) and Du145 prostate carcinoma cells, and that treatment of these cells with IGF-I results in a rapid and sustained phosphorylation of Akt. Pre-treatment of PrEC and Du145 cells with doses as low as 20 microg/ml of a mixture of black tea polyphenols (BTP) substantially reduced IGF-I-mediated Akt phosphorylation. This effect of BTP appears to be due partially to the reduced autophosphorylation of IGF-I receptor-1 in BTP-treated cells. BTP pre-treatment also decreased downstream effects of Akt activation including phosphorylation of glycerol synthase kinase-3, increased cyclin D1 protein levels and increased DNA synthesis. Our results indicate that polyphenols from black tea inhibit the IGF-I signal transduction pathway, which has been linked to increased prostate cancer incidence in human populations and, therefore, provide further support for the potential of BTP to prevent prostate cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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