Lysosomal trafficking of β-catenin induced by the tea polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate

Wan Mohaiza Dashwood, Orianna Carter, Mohamed Al-Fageeh, Qingjie Li, Roderick H. Dashwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


β-Catenin is a cadherin-binding protein involved in cell-cell adhesion, which also functions as a transcriptional activator when complexed in the nucleus with members of the T-cell factor (TCF)/lymphoid enhancer factor (LEF) family of proteins. There is considerable interest in mechanisms that down-regulate β-catenin, since this provides an avenue for the prevention of colorectal and other cancers in which β-catenin is frequently over-expressed. We show here that physiologically relevant concentrations of the tea polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) inhibited β-catenin/TCF- dependent reporter activity in human embryonic kidney 293 cells transfected with wild type or mutant β-catenins, and there was a corresponding decrease in β-catenin protein levels in the nuclear, cytosolic and membrane-associated fractions. However, β-catenin accumulated as punctate aggregates in response to EGCG treatment, including in human colon cancer cells over-expressing β-catenin endogenously. Confocal microscopy studies revealed that the aggregated β-catenin in HEK293 cells was extra-nuclear and co-localized with lysosomes, suggesting that EGCG activated a pathway involving lysosomal trafficking of β-catenin. Lysosomal inhibitors leupeptin and transepoxysuccinyl-l-leucylamido(4-guanido)butane produced an increase in β-catenin protein in total cell lysates, without a concomitant increase in β-catenin transcriptional activity. These data provide the first evidence that EGCG facilitates the trafficking of β-catenin into lysosomes, presumably as a mechanism for sequestering β-catenin and circumventing further nuclear transport and activation of β-catenin/TCF/LEF signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-172
Number of pages12
JournalMutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 11 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Colon cancer
  • EGCG
  • Lysosomes
  • Proteasomes
  • β-Catenin/TCF/LEF signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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