Back to Journals » OncoTargets and Therapy » Volume 9

Theaflavins suppress tumor growth and metastasis via the blockage of the STAT3 pathway in hepatocellular carcinoma

Authors Shao J, Meng Q, Li Y

Received 19 December 2015

Accepted for publication 6 April 2016

Published 14 July 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 4265—4275

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OTT.S102858

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Ram Prasad

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Faris Farassati


Jianping Shao,1,* Qingyan Meng,2,* Yongyuan Li1

1Department of General Surgery, 2Outpatient Department, The Fifth Central Hospital of Tianjin, Tianjin, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Theaflavins, the major black tea polyphenols, have been reported to exhibit promising antitumor activities in several human cancers. However, the role of theaflavins in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is still unknown. In this study, we found that theaflavins could significantly inhibit proliferation, migration, and invasion, and induce apoptosis in HCC cells in vitro. Furthermore, we found that theaflavins inhibited the growth and metastasis of HCC in an orthotopic model and a lung metastasis model. Immunohistochemical analyses and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end-labeling assays showed that theaflavins could suppress proliferation and induce apoptosis in vivo. Theaflavins also suppressed constitutive and inducible signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) phosphorylation. The downstream proteins regulated by STAT3, including the antiapoptotic proteins (Bcl-2 and Survivin) and the invasion-related proteins (MMP-2, MMP-9), were also downregulated after theaflavins treatment. Theaflavins induced apoptosis by activating the caspase pathway. Together, our results suggest that theaflavins suppress the growth and metastasis of human HCC through the blockage of the STAT3 pathway, and thus may act as potential therapeutic agents for HCC.

Keywords: theaflavins, tumor growth, tumor metastasis, STAT3, hepatocellular carcinoma

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]