Epigallocatechin-3-gallate affects the growth of LNCaP cells via membrane fluidity and distribution of cellular zinc

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To evaluate effects of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) on the viability, membrane properties, and zinc distribution, with and without the presence of Zn2+, in human prostate carcinoma LNCaP cells


We examined changes in cellular morphology and membrane fluidity of LNCaP cells, distribution of cellular zinc, and the incorporated portion of EGCG after treatments with EGCG, Zn2+, and EGCG+Zn2+.


We observed an alteration in cellular morphology and a decrease in membrane fluidity of LNCaP cells after treatment with EGCG or Zn2+. The proportion of EGCG incorporated into liposomes treated with the mixture of EGCG and Zn2+ at the ratio of 1:1 was 90.57%, which was significantly higher than that treated with EGCG alone (30.33%). Electron spin resonance (ESR) studies and determination of fatty acids showed that the effects of EGCG on the membrane fluidity of LNCaP were decreased by Zn2+. EGCG accelerated the accumulation of zinc in the mitochondria and cytosol as observed by atomic absorption spectrometer.


These results show that EGCG interacted with cell membrane, decreased the membrane fluidity of LNCaP cells, and accelerated zinc accumulation in the mitochondria and cytosol, which could be the mechanism by which EGCG inhibits proliferation of LNCaP cells. In addition, high concentrations of Zn2+ could attenuate the actions elicited by EGCG.

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