Green tea is a popular beverage worldwide and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the most bioactive polyphenol in green tea. Our study aims to investigate the anti-proliferation and anti-migration effects of EGCG against colorectal-cancer SW480, SW620, and LS411N cells, and elucidate the underlying mechanism.


The in vitro anti-proliferation and anti-migration effects of EGCG against colon-cancer cells were evaluated using MTT, scratch-wound-healing, and transwell-migration assays. The effects of EGCG on apoptosis were assessed by Annexin V-FITC/PI double staining and JC-1 staining. Besides, Western blotting was employed to detect the protein-expression level and elucidate the underlying pathways. Real-time qPCR and dual-luciferase reporter assay were adopted to determine the mRNA level and promoter activity.


Our results demonstrated that treatment with EGCG resulted in significant inhibition of cell proliferation by the induction of apoptosis. EGCG also inhibited SW480 cell migration in a dose-dependent manner as assessed by wound-healing and transwell-migration assays. Western blot confirmed that EGCG induced apoptosis by the activation of Caspase-3 and PARP. In addition, both STAT3 and phosphorylated STAT3 (p-STAT3) were downregulated significantly by EGCG in three selected colorectal-cancer cell lines. EGCG treatment also resulted in a significant decrease in Bcl-2, MCL-1, and Vimentin, and an increase in E-cadherin. When STAT3 was inhibited, EGCG showed no obvious effect on cell proliferation and migration. Further investigation by luciferase-reporter-activity assay showed that EGCG suppressed the promoter activity of STAT3 and downregulated the transcription of STAT3.


Our study presents evidence on the anti-proliferation and anti-migration effects of EGCG against colorectal-cancer SW480, SW620, and LS411N cells by downregulating the expression of STAT3 and suggests that EGCG could be an effective and natural supplement for colon-cancer treatment.

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