Green tea (-)-epigallotocatechin-3-gallate induces pgc-1α gene expression in HepG2 cells and 3T3-L1 adipocytes

Mak Soon Lee, Seohyun Lee, Miae Doo, Yangha Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Green tea (Camellia sinensis) is one of the most popular beverages in the world and has been acknowledged for centuries as having significant health benefits. (ï)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the most abundant catechin in green tea, and it has been reported to have health benefit effects. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator (PGC)-1α is a crucial regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis and hepatic gluconeogenesis. The objective of this study was to investigate whether EGCG from green tea can affect the ability of transcriptional regulation on PGC-1α mRNA expression in HepG2 cells and 3T3-L1 adipocytes. To study the molecular mechanism that allows EGCG to control PGC-1α expression, the promoter activity levels of PGC-1α were examined. The PGC-1α mRNA level was measured using quantitative real-time PCR. The -970/+412 bp of PGC-1α promoter was subcloned into the pGL3-Basic vector that includes luciferase as a reporter gene. EGCG was found to up-regulate the PGC-1α mRNA levels significantly with 10 μmol/L of EGCG in HepG2 cells and differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes. PGC-1α promoter activity was also increased by treatment with 10 μmol/L of EGCG in both cells. These results suggest that EGCG may induce PGC-1α gene expression, potentially through promoter activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-67
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Nutrition and Food Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Korean Government (No. NRF-2013R1A1A2009522) and BK 21 plus (22A20130012143).

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2016 by The Korean Society of Food Science and Nutrition. All rights Reserved.


  • 3T3-L1 adipocytes
  • EGCG
  • HepG2 cells
  • PGC-1α
  • Promoter activity


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