A constituent of green tea, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), is known to possess anti-cancer properties. In this study, the time-course of the anticancer effects of EGCG on human ovarian cancer cells were investigated to provide insights into the molecular-level understanding of the growth suppression mechanism involved in EGCG-mediated apoptosis and cell cycle arrest.
Materials and Methods
Three human ovarian cancer cell lines (p53 negative, SKOV-3 cells; mutant type p53, OVCAR-3 cells; and wild type p53, PA-1 cells) were used. The effect of EGCG treatment was studied via a cell count assay, cell cycle analysis, FACS, Western blot and macroarray assay.
EGCG exerts a significant role in suppressing ovarian cancer cell growth, showed dose dependent growth inhibitory effects in each cell line and induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. The cell cycle was arrested at the G1 phase by EGCG in SKOV-3 and OVCAR-3 cells.
In contrast, the cell cycle was arrested in the G1/S phase in PA-1 cells. EGCG differentially regulated the expression of genes and proteins (Bax, p21, Retinoblastoma, cyclin D1, CDK4 and Bcl-XL) more than 2 fold, showing a possible gene regulatory role for EGCG. The continual expression in p21WAF1 suggests that EGCG acts in the same way with p53 proteins to facilitate apoptosis after EGCG treatment. Bax, PCNA and Bcl-X are also important in EGCG-mediated apoptosis. In contrast, CDK4 and Rb are not important in ovarian cancer cell growth inhibition.
EGCG can inhibit ovarian cancer cell growth through the induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest, as well as in the regulation of cell cycle related proteins. Therefore, EGCG-mediated apoptosis could be applied to an advanced strategy in the development of a potential drug against ovarian cancer.