Theaflavins suppress the growth and metastasis of human hepatocellular carcinoma. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Theaflavins suppress tumor growth and metastasis via the blockage of the STAT3 pathway in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Onco Targets Ther. 2016 ;9:4265-75. Epub 2016 Jul 14. PMID: 27478384
Theaflavins, the major black tea polyphenols, have been reported to exhibit promising antitumor activities in several human cancers. However, the role of theaflavins in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is still unknown. In this study, we found that theaflavins could significantly inhibit proliferation, migration, and invasion, and induce apoptosis in HCC cells in vitro. Furthermore, we found that theaflavins inhibited the growth and metastasis of HCC in an orthotopic model and a lung metastasis model. Immunohistochemical analyses and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end-labeling assays showed that theaflavins could suppress proliferation and induce apoptosis in vivo. Theaflavins also suppressed constitutive and inducible signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) phosphorylation. The downstream proteins regulated by STAT3, including the antiapoptotic proteins (Bcl-2 and Survivin) and the invasion-related proteins (MMP-2, MMP-9), were also downregulated after theaflavins treatment. Theaflavins induced apoptosis by activating the caspase pathway. Together, our results suggest that theaflavins suppress the growth and metastasis of human HCC through the blockage of the STAT3 pathway, and thus may act as potential therapeutic agents for HCC.