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Tea catechins and related polyphenols as anti-cancer agents

Biofactors 2000;13(1-4):81-5                   

Isemura M; Saeki K; Kimura T; Hayakawa S; Minami T; Sazuka M
Laboratory of Cellular Biochemistry, Graduate School of Nutritional and Environmental Sciences, The University of Shizuoka, Japan.

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) and theaflavins, a major constituent of green tea infusion and the constituents of black tea, respectively, were found to inhibit matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) which are intimately associated with tumor invasion and metastasis. EGCg and related polyphenols exhibited apoptosis-inducing activity for several cancer cell lines including human stomach and colon cancer cells. Comparison of the activity of these compounds revealed the importance of the number and the steric disposition of hydroxyl groups. A pyrogallol-type structure in a molecule is a minimum requirement for apoptosis induction of catechin compounds and that in the B ring has an important role in the activity. These data would provide useful information for designing anti-cancer agents on the basis of anti-inhibitory activity for MMPs and/or apoptosis-inducing activity.

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