Green Tea – Can it repair DNA and protect it?

This is quite amazing considering that it is just  only a small part of some people’s diet. Maybe we should all drink a little more green tea daily.

Green tea catechins partially protect DNA from ·OH radical-induced strand breaks and base damage through fast chemical repair of DNA radicals

EGCG was found to be the most active of the catechins, with effects seen at micromolar concentrations. Combined fast-reaction chemistry studies support a mechanism of electron transfer (or H-atom transfer) from catechins to ROS-induced radical sites on the DNA. These results support an antioxidant role for catechins in their direct interaction with DNA radicals.

Green Tea Catechins

These results suggest that multiple binding sites of EGCG are present in DNA and RNA oligomers. Double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) oligomers were detected only as EGCG-bound forms at high temperature, whereas at low temperature both the free and bound forms were detected, suggesting that EGCG protects dsDNA oligomers from dsDNA melting to single-stranded DNA. Because both galloyl and catechol groups of EGCG are essential for DNA binding, both groups seem to hold strands of DNA via their branching structure. These findings reveal for the first time the link between catechins and polynucleotides and will intensify our understanding of the effects of catechins on DNA in terms of cancer prevention.

Green Tea & Skin Cancer

The oral administration of GTPs in drinking water or the topical application of EGCG prevents UVB-induced skin tumor development in mice, and this prevention is mediated through: (a) the induction of immunoregulatory cytokine interleukin (IL) 12; (b) IL-12-dependent DNA repair following nucleotide excision repair mechanism; (c) the inhibition of UV-induced immunosuppression through IL-12-dependent DNA repair; (d) the inhibition of angiogenic factors; and (e) the stimulation of cytotoxic T cells in a tumor microenvironment. New mechanistic information strongly supports and explains the chemopreventive activity of GTPs against photocarcinogenesis.

Pulse radiolysis measurements support the mechanism of electron transfer or H· atom transfer from the flavonoids to free radical sites on DNA which result in the fast chemical repair of some of the oxidative damage on DNA resulting from ·OH radical attack. These in vitro assays point to a possible additional role for antioxidants in reducing DNA damage.

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