Vitamin A enhances antitumor effect of a green tea polyphenol on melanoma by upregulating the polyphenol sensing molecule 67-kDa laminin receptor

Ju Hye Lee, Mutsumi Kishikawa, Motofumi Kumazoe, Koji Yamada, Hirofumi Tachibana
PloS One 2010, 5 (6): e11051

BACKGROUND: Green tea consumption has been shown to have cancer preventive qualities. Among the constituents of green tea, (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate (EGCG) is the most effective at inhibiting carcinogenesis. However, the concentrations of EGCG that are required to elicit the anticancer effects in a variety of cancer cell types are much higher than the peak plasma concentration that occurs after drinking an equivalent of 2-3 cups of green tea. To obtain the anticancer effects of EGCG when consumed at a reasonable concentration in daily life, we investigated the combination effect of EGCG and food ingredient that may enhance the anticancer activity of EGCG on subcutaneous tumor growth in C57BL/6N mice challenged with B16 melanoma cells.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: All-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) enhanced the expression of the 67-kDa laminin receptor (67LR) and increased EGCG-induced cell growth inhibition in B16 melanoma cells. The cell growth inhibition seen with the combined EGCG and ATRA treatment was abolished by treatment with an anti-67LR antibody. In addition, the combined EGCG and ATRA treatment significantly suppressed the melanoma tumor growth in mice. Expression of 67LR in the tumor increased upon oral administration of ATRA or a combined treatment of EGCG and ATRA treatment. Furthermore, RNAi-mediated silencing of the retinoic acid receptor (RAR) alpha attenuated the ATRA-induced enhancement of 67LR expression in the melanoma cells. An RAR agonist enhanced the expression levels of 67LR and increased EGCG-induced cell growth inhibition.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings provide a molecular basis for the combination effect seen with dietary components, and indicate that ATRA may be a beneficial food component for cancer prevention when combined with EGCG.

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