Epigenetic effects of green tea polyphenols in cancer.
Epigenomics. 2013 Dec ;5(6):729-41. PMID: 24283885
Susanne M Henning
Epigenetics describes heritable alterations of gene expression and chromatin organization without changes in DNA sequence. Both hypermethylation and hypomethylation of DNA can affect gene expression and the multistep process of carcinogenesis. Epigenetic changes are reversible and may be targeted by dietary interventions. Bioactive compounds from green tea (GT) such as (-)-epigallocatechin gallate have been shown to alter DNA methyltransferase activity in studies of esophageal, oral, skin, Tregs, lung, breast and prostate cancer cells, which may contribute to the chemopreventive effect of GT. Three out of four mouse model studies have confirmed the inhibitory effect of (-)-epigallocatechin gallate on DNA methylation. A human study demonstrated that decreased methylation of CDX2 and BMP-2 in gastric carcinoma was associated with higher GT consumption. It is the goal of this review to summarize our current knowledge of the potential of GT to alter epigenetic processes, which may be useful in chemoprevention.