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Abstract

The green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) has cancer chemopreventive properties against various types of cancers. The compound is known to attack various targets in transformed cells. In this report, we examined the action of EGCG on ovarian cancer cells. Eight ovarian cancer cell lines were tested (SKOV3, CAOV3, OVCAR3, OVCAR10, A2780, CP70, C30, and C200) and showed IC50s for EGCG at the micromolar range, including ones that are resistant to the chemotherapeutic drug cisplatin. The ovarian cancer cells were sensitive to H2O2 at similar concentrations, and EGCG treatment led to enhanced intracellular H2O2. Neutralization with pyruvate, a scavenger of H2O2, suggests that the toxicity of EGCG may be mediated by oxidative stress from the free radical. Addition of Tempol, a superoxide dismutase mimetic, demonstrates that H2O2 might be generated endogenously from superoxide. The toxicity of cisplatin and the development of cisplatin resistance are major obstacles in treatment of ovarian cancer. We found that addition of EGCG amplified the toxicity of cisplatin. EGCG increased cisplatin potency by three to six-fold in SKOV3, CAOV3, and C200 cells, the latter being a cell line induced to have several hundred fold resistant to cisplatin above the parental line. Our findings suggest that EGCG may accentuate oxidative stress to inhibit growth of ovarian cancer cells and sensitize them to cisplatin. J. Cell. Physiol. 207: 389–396, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.