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Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2014 Jan 17;443(3):1097-104

Green tea epigallocatechin gallate binds to and inhibits respiratory complexes in swelling but not normal rat hepatic mitochondria.

Weng Z, Zhou P, Salminen WF, Yang X, Harrill AH, Cao Z, Mattes W, Mendrick DL, Shi Q


Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the major flavonoid in green tea, is consumed via tea products and dietary supplements, and during clinical trials. However, EGCG may cause hepatotoxicity in humans and animals by unknown mechanisms. Here the EGCG effect on rat liver mitochondria was examined. EGCG showed negligible effects on oxidative phosphorylation at 7.5-100muM in normal mitochondria. However, respiratory chain complexes (RCCs) were profoundly inhibited by EGCG in mitochondria undergoing Ca2+ overload-induced mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT). As RCCs are located in mitochondrial inner membranes (IM) and matrix, it was reasoned that EGCG could not readily pass through IM to affect RCCs in normal mitochondria but may do so when IM integrity is compromised. This speculation was substantiated in three ways. (1) Purified EGCG-bound proteins were barely detectable in normal mitochondria and contained no RCCs as determined by Western blotting, but swelling mitochondria contained about 1.5-fold more EGCG-bound proteins which included four RCC subunits together with cyclophilin D that locates in mitochondrial matrix. (2) Swelling mitochondria consumed more EGCG than normal ones. (3) MPT blocker cyclosporine A diminished the above-mentioned difference. Among four subunits of RCC II, only SDHA and SDHB that locate in mitochondrial matrix, but not SDHC or SDHD which insert into the IM, were found to be EGCG targets. Interestingly, EGCG promoted Ca2+ overload-induced MPT only when moderate MPT already commenced. This study identified hepatic RCCs as targets for EGCG in swelling but not normal mitochondria, suggesting EGCG may trigger hepatotoxicity by worsening pre-existing mitochondria abnormalities.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #24384371 DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2013.12.110
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Toxicological Research
Entry Created: 2014-01-05 Entry Last Modified: 2014-03-22