Transcriptional responses to epigallocatechin-3 gallate in HT 29 colon carcinoma spheroids

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Abstract

Catechins have been reported to possess anti-cancer activity in vitro and in vivo. To identify target genes that may be involved in the anti-tumorigenic effect of catechins, gene expression profiles in adherent human HT 29 colon carcinoma cells, in HT 29 spheroids and in epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG)-treated HT 29 cells have been analysed by high-density oligonucleotide microarrays. Treatment of HT 29 cells with EGCG (2.5–50 μM) resulted in a dose-dependent inhibition of spheroid formation of HT 29 cells. Forty transcripts were induced at least twofold in 3-day-old spheroids relative to normal adherent cells using three replicates. Oncogenes like c-fos and c-jun are significantly up-regulated in spheroids. We identified several signal transduction and proliferation genes which are down-regulated in response to EGCG treatment. Increase in the mRNA expression profile of c-Fos correlated well with protein levels in HT 29 spheroids whereas EGCG did not affect protein formation. In agreement with the DNA chip data, IQGAP2 protein was not increased in spheroids but protein formation was totally blocked in EGCG-treated cells. Interestingly, no change in expression of cytotoxic or apoptotic related genes has been observed in EGCG-treated cells. Our findings suggest that EGCG may exert its anti-cancer activity through modulation of expression of a number of genes that are involved in cell proliferation, cell-cell contacts and cell-matrix interactions.

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