A possible mechanism for green tea's anticancer activities is reported online in Laboratory Investigation . The reported effect of green tea extract on lung cancer cells supports the increasing evidence of green tea's anticancer properties.
With an estimated 162,246 deaths in 2006, lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related death in the USA. The active constituents of green tea - called polyphenols - are recognized antioxidants, but the extent of any anticancer activity remains unclear. Although animal studies offer strong evidence for the anticancer effect of green tea in several organs, including the lung, human population-based studies have shown green tea to increase, decrease, and have no effect on the risk of lung cancer.
Qing-Yi Lu and colleagues now report that, in lung cancer cells, green tea extract (GTE) promotes the polymerization of the cell protein actin. This action counteracts the depolymerisation of actin that characterizes the early stage of cancer development. Researchers also pointed to annexin-I, the actin-binding protein that mediates the effect of GTE on actin, as a novel potential target for GTE-based cancer therapy. The authors suggest that further research and clinical trials are needed to determine how their results relate to actual green tea consumption.
Jian Yu Rao (University of California at Los Angeles, CA, USA)
Catherine Ketcham (Laboratory Investigation, Gainesville, FL, USA)
Abstract available online.
(C) Laboratory Investigation press release.
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