(-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate reverses the expression of various tumor-suppressor genes by inhibiting DNA methyltransferases and histone deacetylases in human cervical cancer cells

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Oncology Reports


There has been increasing evidence that numerous bioactive dietary agents can hamper the process of carcinogenesis by targeting epigenetic alterations including DNA methylation. This therapeutic approach is considered as a significant goal for cancer therapy due to the reversible nature of epigenetic-mediated gene silencing and warrants further attention. One such dietary agent, green tea catechin, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) has been shown to modulate many cancer-related pathways. Thus, the present study was designed to investigate the role of EGCG as an epigenetic modifier in HeLa cells. DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) and histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibition assays were conducted, and the transcription levels of DNMT3β and HDAC1 were assessed by enzymatic activity assay and RT-PCR, respectively. Furthermore, we studied the binding interaction of EGCG with DNMT3β and HDAC1 by molecular modeling as well as promoter DNA methylation and expression of retinoic acid receptor-â (RARâ), cadherin 1 (CDH1) and death-associated protein kinase-1 (DAPK1) in EGCG-treated HeLa cells by RT-PCR and MS-PCR. In the present study, time-dependent EGCG-treated HeLa cells were found to have a significant reduction in the enzymatic activity of DNMT and HDAC. However, the expression of DNMT3β was significantly decreased in a time-dependent manner whereas there was no significant change in HDAC1 expression. Molecular modeling data also supported the EGCG-mediated DNMT3β and HDAC1 activity inhibition. Furthermore, time-dependent exposure to EGCG resulted in reactivation of known tumor-suppressor genes (TSGs) in HeLa cells due to marked changes in the methylation of the promoter regions of these genes. Overall, the present study suggests that EGCG may have a significant impact on the development of novel epigenetic-based therapy.

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