Prostate cancer is one of the most difficult cancers to treat especially when it
becomes hormone resistant such as castrate resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) and
subsequent metastatic CRPC. Apart from the genetic alterations in prostate cancer,
epigenetic modifications also play an important role in the development and neoplastic
progression of this disease. These include DNA methylation, histone modifications, and
non-coding microRNAs. miRNAs are a novel class of small endogenous single-stranded
non-coding RNAs of 19-25 nucleotides in length that typically silence gene expression.
Considering the reversibility of epigenetic alterations in early carcinogenesis process,
reversion (correction) of these modifications by green tea catechins could be a promising
strategy for cancer chemoprevention and therapy. Recent evidence suggests that green
tea catechins such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) not only act as epigenetic
modulators but can also modify miRNA expression and their target mRNAs, consistently
contributing to the inhibition of prostate carcinogenesis. Various studies also indicate that
several green tea polyphenols (GTPs) exert synergistic effects with other cancer
chemotherapeutic agents. Therefore, the use of appropriate combinations of green tea
catechins with the existing chemotherapeutics will lead to a reduction in side effects
without decreasing the chemotherapeutic effects. This review will summarize the key
results from recent studies detailing the effects of green tea catechins such as EGCG on
epigenetic alterations and miRNA expression in prostate cancer.
Keywords: Prostate cancer, miRNAs, catechins, polyphenols, epigenetic alterations.
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