Inhibition of autoantigen expression by (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (the major constituent of green tea) in normal human cells

Stephen Hsu, Douglas P. Dickinson, Haiyan Qin, Carol Lapp, David Lapp, James Borke, Douglas S. Walsh, Wendy B Bollag, Hubert Stöppler, Tetsuya Yamamoto, Tokio Osaki, George Schuster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Autoimmune disorders, characterized by inflammation and apoptosis of target cells leading to tissue destruction, are mediated in part by autoantibodies against normal cellular components (autoantigens) that may be overexpressed. For example, antibodies against the autoantigens SS-A/Ro and SS-B/La are primary markers for systemic lupus erythematosus and Sjogren's syndrome. Recently, studies in animals demonstrated that green tea consumption may reduce the severity of some autoimmune disorders, but the mechanism is unclear. Herein, we sought to determine whether the most abundant green tea polyphenol, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), affects autoantigen expression in human cells. Cultures of pooled normal human primary epidermal keratinocytes and of an immortalized human salivary acinar cell line were incubated with 100 μM EGCG (a physiologically achievable level for topical application or oral administration) for various time periods and then analyzed by cDNA microarray analysis, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, and Western blotting for expression of several major autoantigen candidates. EGCG inhibited the transcription and translation of major autoantigens, including SS-B/La, SS-A/Ro, coilin, DNA topoisomerase I, and α-fodrin. These findings, taken together with green tea's anti-inflammatory and antiapoptotic effects, suggest that green tea polyphenols could serve as an important component in novel approaches to combat autoimmune disorders in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)805-811
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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