The maintenance of cellular homeostasis is largely dependent on the ability of cells to give an adequate response to various internal and external stimuli. We have recently proposed that the life-and-death decision in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response is defined by a crosstalk between autophagy, apoptosis, and mTOR-AMPK pathways, where the transient switch from autophagy-dependent survival to apoptotic cell death is controlled by GADD34. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the major polyphenol of green tea, in promoting autophagy-dependent survival and to verify the key role in connecting GADD34 with mTOR-AMPK pathways upon prolonged ER stress. Our findings, obtained by using HEK293T cells, revealed that EGCG treatment is able to extend cell viability by inducing autophagy. We confirmed that EGCG-induced autophagy is mTOR-dependent and PKA-independent; furthermore, it also required ULK1. We show that pretreatment of cells with EGCG diminishes the negative effect of GADD34 inhibition (by guanabenz or siGADD34 treatment) on autophagy. EGCG was able to delay apoptotic cell death by upregulating autophagy-dependent survival even in the absence of GADD34. Our data suggest a novel role for EGCG in promoting cell survival via shifting the balance of mTOR-AMPK pathways in ER stress.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology