Abstract: Catechins, naturally occurring flavonoids derived from wine and green tea, are known to exhibit multiple health benefits. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is one of the most widely investigated catechins, but its efficacy in cancer therapy is still inconsistent and limited. The poor stability of EGCG has contributed to the disparity in the reported anti-cancer activity and other beneficial properties. Here we report an innovative enzymatic strategy for the oligomerization of catechins (specifically epicatechin) that yields stable, water-soluble oligomerized epicatechins with enhanced and highly specific anti-proliferative activity for human breast cancer cells. This one-pot oxidative oligomerization is carried out in ambient conditions using Horseradish Peroxidase (HRP) as a catalyst yielding water-soluble oligo(epicatechins). The oligomerized epicatechins obtained exhibit excellent growth inhibitory effects against human breast cancer cells with greater specificity towards growth-inhibiting cancer cells as opposed to normal cells, achieving a high therapeutic differential. Our studies indicate that water-soluble oligomeric epicatechins surpass EGCG in stability, selectivity and efficacy at lower doses.
Keywords: Oligomeric catechins; Enzymatic oligomerization; Anti-proliferative activity; Green chemistry; Flavonoids
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Nagarajan, S.; Nagarajan, R.; Braunhut, S.J.; Bruno, F.; McIntosh, D.; Samuelson, L.; Kumar, J. Biocatalytically Oligomerized Epicatechin with Potent and Specific Anti-proliferative Activity for Human Breast Cancer Cells. Molecules 2008, 13, 2704-2716.
Nagarajan S, Nagarajan R, Braunhut SJ, Bruno F, McIntosh D, Samuelson L, Kumar J. Biocatalytically Oligomerized Epicatechin with Potent and Specific Anti-proliferative Activity for Human Breast Cancer Cells. Molecules. 2008; 13(11):2704-2716.
Nagarajan, Subhalakshmi; Nagarajan, Ramaswamy; Braunhut, Susan J.; Bruno, Ferdinando; McIntosh, Donna; Samuelson, Lynne; Kumar, Jayant. 2008. "Biocatalytically Oligomerized Epicatechin with Potent and Specific Anti-proliferative Activity for Human Breast Cancer Cells." Molecules 13, no. 11: 2704-2716.