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Inhibition of oncogene expression by green tea and (-)- epigallocatechin gallate in mice.


Hu G, Han C, Chen J




Nutr Cancer


The effects of tea drinking on the tobacco-specific nitrosamine 4- (methylnitrosamine)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK)-induced mouse lung oncogene expression and the effect of topical application of the tea polyphenol component (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) on 12-O- tedradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced mouse skin oncogene expression were investigated. In the first experiment, mice were treated with NNK (1.3 mg/kg body wt ip) once a day for three days and were given 2% tea in drinking water during the whole experimental period. After four or eight weeks, the lung tissue of the mice treated with NNK displayed a significantly high level of expression in c-myc, c-raf, and c-H-ras oncogenes, and they were all inhibited by tea drinking with inhibitory rates of 50%, 20%, and 50%, respectively. In the second experiment, a single application of 10 nmol of TPA to mouse skin led to a marked increase in the transcripts' level of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) gene, protein kinase C (PKC) gene, and c-myc oncogene at four hours after TPA administration. Topical application of EGCG (1 or 5 mumol) one hour before the application of TPA inhibited all TPA-induced gene expression in a dose-dependent fashion. These results confirm the anticarcinogenic effects of tea and suggest that a possible mechanism is the effect of tea on carcinogen-induced oncogene expression.

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