Green tea polyphenols induce differentiation and proliferation in epidermal keratinocytes

Stephen Hsu, Wendy B. Bollag, Jill Lewis, Qin Huang, Baldev Singh, Mohamed Sharawy, Tetsuya Yamamoto, George Schuster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


The most abundant green tea polyphenol, epigallocatechin-3- gallate (EGCG), was found to induce differential effects between tumor cells and normal cells. Nevertheless, how normal epithelial cells respond to the polyphenol at concentrations for which tumor cells undergo apoptosis is undefined. The current study tested exponentially growing and aged primary human epidermal keratinocytes in response to EGCG or a mixture of the four major green tea polyphenols. EGCG elicited cell differentiation with associated induction of p57/KIP2 within 24 h in growing keratinocytes, measured by the expression of keratin 1, filaggrin, and transglutaminase activity. Aged keratinocytes, which exhibited low basal cellular activities after culturing in growth medium for up to 25 days, renewed DNA synthesis and activated succinate dehydrogenase up to 37-fold upon exposure to either EGCG or the polyphenols. These results suggest that tea polyphenols may be used for treatment of wounds or certain skin conditions characterized by altered cellular activities or metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-34
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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