Research Papers:

Reversal of 5-fluorouracil resistance by EGCG is mediate by inactivation of TFAP2A/VEGF signaling pathway and down-regulation of MDR-1 and P-gp expression in gastric cancer

Hongsheng Tang, Lisi Zeng, Jiahong Wang, Xiangliang Zhang, Qiang Ruan, Jin Wang, Shuzhong Cui and Dinghua Yang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:82842-82853. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.20666

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Hongsheng Tang1,2,*, Lisi Zeng2,*, Jiahong Wang2, Xiangliang Zhang2, Qiang Ruan2, Jin Wang2, Shuzhong Cui2 and Dinghua Yang1

1Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, Guangdong Province, China

2Department of Abdominal Surgery, Affiliated Cancer Hospital & Institute of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou 510095, Guangdong Province, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work and should be considered co-first authors

Correspondence to:

Dinghua Yang, email: [email protected]

Shuzhong Cui, email: [email protected]

Keywords: EGCG, gastric cancer, drug resistance, 5-fluorouracil, VEGF

Received: December 28, 2016     Accepted: June 24, 2017     Published: September 06, 2017


The effect of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) chemotherapy for gastric cancer (GC) is limited by drug-resistance. To conquer this drug-resistance, various treatments including combination therapy have been used, but the overall survival has not been improved yet. In our current study, 5-FU resistant GC cells, SGC7901/FU and MGC803/FU, were established by long term exposure to 5-FU, and the proliferation capability of these resistant cells was verified to be reduced. The drug related proteins, MDR1 and P-gp were up-regulated in resistant cells compared to the parental cells. We further found proliferation and tumor growth suppressed effects of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is the predominant polyphenolic catechin constituent in green tea, on both the 5-FU resistant cells and the SGC7901/FU xenograft. Furthermore, an interesting results showed that reversal of 5-FU resistance of GC cells by EGCG treatment in vivo and in vitro. In the molecular study, We also found that EGCG suppressed the expression of both MDR-1 and P-gp at mRNA and protein levels in vivo and in vitro. Western blot and ELISA assay revealed that EGCG was able to inhibit VEGF secretion and expression, and its up-stream signal regulator, transcription factor activator protein 2A (TFAP2A) was also down-regulated by EGCG, our results indicated that TFAP2A/VEGF axis is one of the critical pathway inhibited by EGCG for cell proliferation and 5-FU resistance. Taken together, our data suggested that EGCG inhibits GC growth and reverses 5-FU resistance of GC through inactivation of TFAP2A/VEGF pathway and down-regulation of MDR-1 and P-gp expression.

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