Epigallocatechin-3-gallate potentiates the effect of curcumin in inducing growth inhibition and apoptosis of resistant breast cancer cells.
Am J Chin Med. 2014 ;42(5):1279-300. PMID: 25242081
Drug resistance remains an on-going challenge in breast cancer chemotherapy. Combination of two or more drugs is an effective strategy to access context-specific multiple targets and overcome undesirable toxicity that is almost inevitable in single-drug chemotherapy. Many plant food-derived polyphenolic compounds have been proven to modulate many key factors responsible for cancer drug resistance, which makes them a promising group of low toxicity candidates for reversing cancer resistance. In this study, we analyzed the combination effect of two chemopreventive polyphenols, curcumin (Cur) and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), in combating resistant breast cancer. Our present results showed that EGCG significantly enhanced the growth inhibition and apoptosis in both doxorubicin (DOX)-sensitive and resistant MCF-7 cells induced by Cur. The mechanism may be related to the further activation of caspase-dependent apoptotic signaling pathways and the enhanced cellular incorporation of Cur by inhibiting P-glycoprotein (P-gp) pump function. Moreover, Cur and EGCG in combination could enhance the toxicity of DOX and increase the intracellular level of DOX in resistant MCF-7 cells. Our findings with this practical combination of Cur and EGCG encourage us to move on to a promising strategy for successful treatment of human breast cancer resistance by combining two low-toxic chemotherapeutic agents from diet.