A team of researchers in Spain and the United Kingdom have discovered how the green tea compound EGCG helps prevent cancer. They found that EGCG binds with a specific enzyme which then limits the grown of cancer cells. Its chemical structure is very similar to the chemotherapy drug methotrexate, giving them hopes that they can use that structure to build new, more effective drugs.
Spanish and British scientists have discovered green tea helps to prevent certain types of cancer.
Researchers are from University of Murcia, in Spain, and the John Innes in Norwich, England.
The group have shown that a compound called EGCG in green teas prevents cancer cell from growing by binding to a specific enzyme.
The scientists decided to look at ECGC after they realized is structure was similar to a cancer drug called methotrexate.
Roger Thorneley, researcher from John Innes, said: "We have shown for the first time that ECGC, which is present in green tea 5 times as much as regular teas, inhibits the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), which is a recognized, established target for anti-cancer drugs".
"We have identified this enzyme -- he continues -- in tumor cells and understand how it stops this enzyme from making DNA.
This means we may be able to develop new anti-cancer drugs based on the structure of the ECGC molecule".
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