Quercetin increased the antiproliferative activity of green tea polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin gallate in prostate cancer cells.
Nutr Cancer. 2012 ;64(4):580-7. Epub 2012 Mar 27. PMID: 22452782
We previously demonstrated that 50% of (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) was present in methylated form (4″-MeEGCG) in human prostate tissue, which is less bioactive. We therefore investigated whether quercetin, a natural inhibitor of catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT), will inhibit EGCG methylation leading to enhanced antiproliferative activity of EGCG in prostate cancer cells. Incubation with bothquercetin and EGCG for 2 h increased the cellular concentrations of EGCG by 4- to 8-fold and 6- to 10-fold in androgen-independent PC-3 cells and androgen-dependent LNCaP cells, respectively. Concurrently, the percent of 4″-MeEGCG in the total EGCG was decreased from 39% to 15% in PC-3 cells andfrom 61% to 38% in LNCaP cells. Quercetin and EGCG in combination synergistically inhibited cell proliferation, caused cell cycle arrest, and induced apoptosis in PC-3 cells. In LNCaP cells, EGCG and quercetin exhibited a stronger antiproliferative activity leading to an additive effect. The synergistic effect of these 2 agents in PC-3 cells could be based on the fact that EGCG primarily inhibited COMT activity, whereas quercetin reduced the amount of COMT protein. In summary, quercetin combined with EGCG in vitro demonstrated enhanced inhibition of cell proliferation by increasing the intracellular concentration of EGCG and decreasing EGCG methylation.