Abstract Title:

(-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate down-regulates EGFR, MMP-2, MMP-9 and EMMPRIN and inhibits the invasion of MCF-7 tamoxifen-resistant cells.

Abstract Source:

Biosci Rep. 2011 Apr ;31(2):99-108. PMID: 20446926

Abstract Author(s):

Fulvia Farabegoli, Alessio Papi, Marina Orlandi

Article Affiliation:

Department of Experimental Pathology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy. [email protected]


The activation of the EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) signalling pathway is one of the key mechanisms underlying the development of resistance to tamoxifen in breast cancer patients. As EGCG [(-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate], the most active catechin present in green tea, has been shown to down-regulate EGFR, we studied the effects of 10-100 μg/ml EGCG treatment on growth and invasion in a breast carcinoma cell line resistant to tamoxifen [MCF-7Tam (MCF-7 breast carcinoma cell line resistant to tamoxifen) cells] and parental MCF-7. A dose-dependent down-regulation of EGFR mRNA expression and protein level occurred after 50 μg/ml EGCG treatment of MCF-7Tam cells. EGFR molecules on the plasma membrane surface of MCF-7Tam cells significantly decreased. EGFR phosphorylation (Tyr-992, Tyr-1045 and Tyr-1068) was higher in MCF-7Tam than in MCF-7 and it was reduced by EGCG treatment. ERK (extracellular regulated kinase) and phospho-ERK p42/44 were also down-regulated by EGCG treatment and in vitro cell growth and invasion decreased. MMP-2 (matrix metalloproteinase-2) and MMP-9, which are implicated in cell invasion and metastasis, and EMMPRIN (extracellular matrix metalloproteinase inducer), a glycoprotein able to activate MMPs, were significantly reduced after 50 μg/ml EGCG treatment. In keeping with this, TIMP-1 (tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1) and TIMP-2, which down-regulate MMPs, increased after EGCG treatment. Altogether, the present data demonstrated that EGCG could attenuate the tamoxifen-resistant phenotype of MCF-7Tam cells. EGCG could stop MCF-7Tam cell growth and in vitro invasion through down-regulation of EGFR and other molecules implicated in aggressive biological behaviour. The present data support the hypothesis that EGCG is an interesting molecule to be investigated in tamoxifen-resistant breast carcinoma.

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