Redifferentiation of human hepatoma cells induced by green tea polyphenols

Research paper by Bo Zhou, Jing Pan, Fang Dai, Chenyang Zhao, Liping Zhang, Qingyi Wei, Li Yang, Rongliang Zheng, Zhongli Liu

Indexed on: 01 Aug '04Published on: 01 Aug '04Published in: Research on Chemical Intermediates


A novel approach for the treatment of cancer is the differentiation therapy in which cancer cells are induced to attain a mature phenotype when exposed to differentiation inducers. To examine the effects of polyphenols extracted from green tea, i.e. ( – )-epicatechin (EC), ( – )-epigallocatechin (EGC), ( – )-epicatechin gallate (ECG) and ( – )-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), on the proliferation and redifferentiation of human hepatoma cell line SMMC-7721, we measured the changes of cell growth, cell surface charge and cell morphography after treament with green tea polyphenols. It was found that the growth curve of treated cells was decreased remarkably, cell surface charge of treated cells was decreased and the microvilli on the surface of treated cells were reduced obviously. It confirmed that green tea polyphenols could reverse malignant phenotypic characteristics and induced redifferentiation of SMMC-7721 cells. The ability of green tea polyphenols to inhibit reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated oxidative damage of DNA was also assessedin vitro by measuring the conversion of supercoiled pBR322 plasmid DNA to the open circular and linear forms. It was found that green tea polyphenols could significantly inhibit the oxidative damage of DNA induced by a water-soluble azo initiator 2,2′-azobis(2-amidinopropane hydrochloride) (AAPH). However, they could promote the oxidative damage of DNA induced by H2O2 and Fe2+ at high concentrations. The relationship between the anti-cancer activity and antioxidation-prooxidation activity of green tea polyphenols is discussed.