EGCG molecular mechanisms in human neoplastic cells. Coordinator: Farabegoli

1) Use of EGCG, a molecule from green tea, selectively toxic for cancer cells, in human neoplasm chemoprevention: identification of highly susceptible malignancies and molecular targets. 2) Study of EGCG and IIF, a RXR ligand molecule, in vitro: study of EGCG interaction with low toxicity antineoplastic drugs showing minimal or no toxic side effects.

Green tea has shown great potential as a chemopreventive agent against a wide array of human cancers. Numerous studies have demonstrated the role of Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the principal constituent of green tea, in down-regulating numerous molecular targets involved in carcinogenesis both in vitro and in vivo. EGCG was found to behave as a multi-target molecule, with numerous sites of action and different mechanisms, leading to cancer cell growth arrest and apoptosis but with minimal or no effects on normal cells. For this reason, the identification of molecular target and human malignancies particularly sensitive to the EGCG effects is an important goal, to address a EGCG targeted use in responsive cell populations. To this aim, understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying EGCG cytotoxic and chemopreventive effects is mandatory. EGCG has been shown to be effective in sensitizing human cancer cells to antineoplastic agents in in vitro and in vivo models. The association between EGCG and chemoterapeutic agents might contribute to reduce the drug concentrations in treatments and avoid, at least in part, side effects. EGCG has been demonstrated to increase the disease-free survival and to reduce metastasis onset. The EGCG+IIF combination has been demonstrated to be very effective in vitro on various human neoplastic cell lines, showing improvement of the cytotoxic activity with respect to the molecules individually given.

Team Reasearch topics:

EGCG, Chemoprevention, molecular mechanisms

Laboratory members

Fulvia Farabegoli, MD, Ph.D., Professor Assistant

In collaboration with: Prof. Enzo Spisni (Professor Assistant) e Dr. Alessio Papi (Post-Doc) Dipartimento di Scienze Biologiche, Geologiche e Ambientali (BiGeA).

Fulvia Farabegoli is also envolved as an External Collaborator with Prof. Giuseppina Di Stefano (Coordinator), Dipartimento di Medicina Diagnostica, Specialistica e Sperimentale (DIMES), in a project about Lactate Dehydrogenase inhibitors in human neoplastic cells.

Internship projects

EGCG in neuroblastoma cells

Main publications

A RXR Ligand 6-OH-11-O-Hydroxyphenanthrene with Antitumour Properties Enhances (−)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate Activity in Three Human Breast Carcinoma Cell Lines. Farabegoli F., Govoni M., Ciavarella C., Orlandi M., Papi A. Biomed Res Int, 2014; Vol 2014, Article ID 853086,

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate Increases RXRγ-mediated Pro-apoptotic and Anti-invasive Effects in Gastrointestinal Cancer Cell Lines. Papi A., Govoni M., Ciavarella C., Spisni E., Orlandi M., Farabegoli F. Curr Cancer Drug Targets, 2016;16(4): 373-385

EGFR inhibition by (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate and IIF treatments reduces breast cancer cell invasion. Farabegoli F., Govoni M., Spisni E., Papi A. Biosci Rep 2017, May 17; 37(3). pii: BSR20170168. Doi 10.142/BSR20170168