Regulation of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor in endometrial cancer cells by food compounds
Thesis DisciplineCellular and Molecular Biology
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
Endometrial cancer is one of the most significant gynaecological malignancies that affect women from New Zealand and the rest of the world. One of the critical stages in the development of a tumour is the onset of hypoxia. The malignancy responds by having raised levels of Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF) that in turn induces increased production of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF). VEGF is a potent angiogenic factor that will mediate vascular supply of nutrients and oxygen to the developing tumour. The aim of this study was to investigate whether two compounds found in extracts of plant materials, Resveratrol (Resveratrol) and Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), altered the levels of VEGF in the supernatant of cultured endometrial cancer cells. Resveratrol is a phytoalexin that is found in many foods, such as grapes, nuts and berries, as well as in high concentrations in some red wines. 100 µM of resveratrol was added to cell cultures for 24 hours. VEGF levels in the supernatant were then analysed using ELISA. Resveratrol was found to have significant inhibitory effects in both primary endometrial cancer cell cultures and immortalised endometrial cancer cell cultures. Resveratrol was also shown to reverse the increase in VEGF caused by the hypoxia mimic cobalt chloride (CoCl₂). Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is an antioxidant catechin extracted from green tea. The effect of EGCG was analysed using the same method as for resveratrol. 100 µM of EGCG was also shown to have a significant inhibitory effect on the level of VEGF in the supernatant of cultured endometrial cancer cells, as well as reducing the effect of CoCl₂. These results suggest that selected food compounds, resveratrol and EGCG, can reduce VEGF levels by inhibiting HIF. Further investigation This may have anti-tumour effects in women with endometrial cancer.