Ingesting phenolic phytochemicals in many plant products may promote health, but the effects of phenolic phytochemicals at the cellular level have not been fully examined. Thus, it was determined if the tea phenolic phytochemical, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), protects U937 human pro‐monocytic cells against the nitrogen free radical, nitric oxide (•NO). Cells were incubated for 4–6 h with 500 μM S‐nitrosoglutathione (GSNO), which generates •NO, but this did not induce single‐strand breaks in DNA. Nevertheless, 82 ± 4% of GSNO‐treated cells, compared to only 39 ± 1% of untreated cells, were arrested in the G1‐phase of the cell cycle. However, dosing the GSNO‐treated cells with 9, 14, or 18 μg/ml of EGCG resulted in only 74 ± 8%, 66 ± 1%, and 43 ± 3% of the cells, respectively, in the G1‐phase. Exposing cells to GSNO also resulted in the emergence of a sub‐G1 apoptotic cell population numbering 14 ± 3%, but only 5 ± 2%, 5 ± 1%, and 2 ± 0% upon dosing of the GSNO‐treated cells with 9, 14, and 18 μg/ml of EGCG, respectively. Furthermore, exposing cells to GSNO resulted in greater cell surface binding of annexin V‐FITC, but binding was 41–89% lower in GSNO‐treated cells dosed with EGCG. Collectively, these data suggest that •NO or downstream products induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis that was not due to single‐strand breaks in DNA, and that EGCG scavenged cytotoxic •NO or downstream products, thus reducing the number of cells in a state of cell cycle arrest or apoptosis. J. Cell. Biochem. 81: 647–658, 2001. © 2001 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
Journal of Cellular Biochemistry – Wiley
Published: Apr 23, 2001
Keywords: apoptosis; cell cycle; epigallocatechin gallate; nitric oxide
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