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Open AccessArticle

The Inhibitory Effect of (−)-Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate on Breast Cancer Progression via Reducing SCUBE2 Methylation and DNMT Activity

Institute of Biology and Medicine, College of Life Sciences and Health, Wuhan University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430081, China
Institute of Medical Microbiology, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Molecules 2019, 24(16), 2899;
Received: 12 July 2019 / Revised: 2 August 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 9 August 2019
PDF [3824 KB, uploaded 9 August 2019]


Epigenetic modifications are important mechanisms responsible for cancer progression. Accumulating data suggest that (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the most abundant catechin of green tea, may hamper carcinogenesis by targeting epigenetic alterations. We found that signal peptide-CUB (complement protein C1r/C1s, Uegf, and Bmp1)-EGF (epidermal growth factor) domain-containing protein 2 (SCUBE2), a tumor suppressor gene, was hypermethylated in breast tumors. However, it is unknown whether EGCG regulates SCUBE2 methylation, and the mechanisms remain undefined. This study was designed to investigate the effect of EGCG on SCUBE2 methylation in breast cancer cells. We reveal that EGCG possesses a significantly inhibitory effect on cell viability in a dose- and time-dependent manner and presents more effects than other catechins. EGCG treatment resulted in enhancement of the SCUBE2 gene, along with elevated E-cadherin and decreased vimentin expression, leading to significant suppression of cell migration and invasion. The inhibitory effect of EGCG on SCUBE2 knock-down cells was remarkably alleviated. Further study demonstrated that EGCG significantly decreased the SCUBE2 methylation status by reducing DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) expression and activity. In summary, this study reported for the first time that SCUBE2 methylation can be reversed by EGCG treatment, finally resulting in the inhibition of breast cancer progression. These results suggest the epigenetic role of EGCG and its potential implication in breast cancer therapy. View Full-Text
Keywords: EGCG; SCUBE2 gene; methylation; migration and invasion; breast cancer EGCG; SCUBE2 gene; methylation; migration and invasion; breast cancer

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Sheng, J.; Shi, W.; Guo, H.; Long, W.; Wang, Y.; Qi, J.; Liu, J.; Xu, Y. The Inhibitory Effect of (−)-Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate on Breast Cancer Progression via Reducing SCUBE2 Methylation and DNMT Activity. Molecules 2019, 24, 2899.

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