• Open Access

Epicatechin gallate and catechin gallate are superior to epigallocatechin gallate in growth suppression and anti-inflammatory activities in pancreatic tumor cells


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E-mail: atrauzold@email.uni-kiel.de


Green tea catechins are considered as possible cancer preventive agents for several cancer types but little is known regarding their effects on pancreatic cancer cells. The best studied catechin and the major polyphenol present in green tea is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). In the present study, we investigated the in vitro anti-tumoral properties of EGCG on human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cells PancTu-I, Panc1, Panc89 and BxPC3 in comparison with the effects of two minor components of green tea catechins, catechin gallate (CG) and epicatechin gallate (ECG). We found that all three catechins inhibited proliferation of PDAC cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Interestingly, CG and ECG exerted much stronger anti-proliferative effects than EGCG. Western blot analyses performed with PancTu-I cells revealed catechin-mediated modulation of cell cycle regulatory proteins (cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases [CDK], CDK inhibitors). Again, these effects were clearly more pronounced in CG or ECG than in EGCG-treated cells. Importantly, catechins, in particular ECG, inhibited TNFα-induced activation of NF-κB and consequently secretion of pro-inflammatory and invasion promoting proteins like IL-8 and uPA. Overall, our data show that green tea catechins ECG and CG exhibit potent and much stronger anti-proliferative and anti-inflammatory activities on PDAC cells than the most studied catechin EGCG. (Cancer Sci 2011; 102: 728–734)