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The inhibitory effect of ECG and EGCG dimeric procyanidins on colorectal cancer cells growth is associated with their actions at lipid rafts and the inhibition of the epidermal growth factor receptor signaling.

  • Author(s): Zhu, Wei;
  • Li, Mei C;
  • Wang, Feng R;
  • Mackenzie, Gerardo G;
  • Oteiza, Patricia I
  • et al.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide. Epidemiological studies indicate that consumption of fruits and vegetables containing procyanidins is associated with lower CRC risk. This study investigated the capacity of two dimeric procyanidins composed of epicatechin gallate (ECG) or epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) isolated from persimmons, to inhibit CRC cell growth and promote apoptosis, characterizing the underlying mechanisms. ECG and EGCG dimers reduced the growth of five human CRC cell lines in a concentration (10-60 μM)- and time (24-72 h)-dependent manner, with a 72 h-IC50 value in Caco-2 cells of 10 and 30 μM, respectively. ECG and EGCG dimers inhibited Caco-2 cell proliferation by arresting the cell cycle in G2/M phase and by inducing apoptosis via the mitochondrial pathway. In addition, ECG and EGCG dimers inhibited cell migration, invasion, and adhesion, decreasing the activity of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-2/9). Mechanistically, ECG and EGCG dimers inhibited the activation of lipid raft-associated epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR), without affecting its localization at lipid rafts. In particular, ECG and EGCG dimers reduced EGFR phosphorylation at Tyr1068 residue, prevented EGFR dimerization and activation upon stimulation, and induced EGFR internalization both in the absence and presence of EGF. Furthermore, ECG and EGCG dimers increased EGFR phosphorylation at Tyr1045 residue, providing a docking site for ubiquitin ligase c-Cbl and induced EGFR degradation by the proteasome. Downstream of EGFR, ECG and EGCG dimers inhibited the activation of the MEK/ERK1/2 and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways, downregulating proteins involved in the modulation of cell survival. In conclusion, ECG and EGCG dimers reduced CRC cell growth by inhibiting EGFR activation at multiple steps, including the disruption of lipid rafts integrity and promoting EGFR degradation. These results shed light on a potential molecular mechanism on how procyanidins-rich diets may lower CRC risk.

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