The intermediate filament protein vimentin is a new target for epigallocatechin gallate

Svetlana Ermakova, Bu Young Choi, Hong Seok Choi, Bong Seok Kang, Ann M. Bode, Zigang Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the major active polyphenol in green tea. Protein interaction with EGCG is a critical step in the effects of EGCG on the regulation of various key proteins involved in signal transduction. We have identified a novel molecular target of EGCG using affinity chromatography, two-dimensional electrophoresis, and mass spectrometry for protein identification. Spots of interest were identified as the intermediate filament, vimentin. The identification was confirmed by Western blot analysis using an anti-vimentin antibody. Experiments using a pull-down assay with [ 3H]EGCG demonstrate binding of EGCG to vimentin with a Kd of 3.3 nM. EGCG inhibited phosphorylation of vimentin at serines 50 and 55 and phosphorylation of vimentin by cyclin-dependent kinase 2 and cAMP-dependent protein kinase. EGCG specifically inhibits cell proliferation by binding to vimentin. Because vimentin is important for maintaining cellular functions and is essential in maintaining the structure and mechanical integration of the cellular space, the inhibitory effect of EGCG on vimentin may further explain its anti-tumor-promoting effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16882-16890
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number17
StatePublished - Apr 29 2005


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