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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

The inhibition of the mammalian DNA methyltransferase 3a (Dnmt3a) by dietary black tea and coffee polyphenols

Arumugam Rajavelu2, Zumrad Tulyasheva3, Rakesh Jaiswal1, Albert Jeltsch2* and Nikolai Kuhnert1*

Author Affiliations

1 Chemistry, Jacobs University Bremen, Campus Ring 1, 28759 Bremen, Germany

2 Biochemistry, Jacobs University Bremen, Campus Ring 1, 28759 Bremen, Germany

3 MoLife program, Jacobs University Bremen, Campus Ring 1, 28759 Bremen, Germany

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BMC Biochemistry 2011, 12:16  doi:10.1186/1471-2091-12-16

Published: 21 April 2011

Abstract

Background

Black tea is, second only to water, the most consumed beverage globally. Previously, the inhibition of DNA methyltransferase 1 was shown by dietary polyphenols and epi-gallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the main polyphenolic constituent of green tea, and 5-caffeoyl quinic acid, the main phenolic constituent of the green coffee bean.

Results

We studied the inhibition of DNA methyltransferase 3a by a series of dietary polyphenols from black tea such as theaflavins and thearubigins and chlorogenic acid derivatives from coffee. For theaflavin 3,3 digallate and thearubigins IC50 values in the lower micro molar range were observed, which when compared to pharmacokinetic data available, suggest an effect of physiological relevance.

Conclusions

Since Dnnmt3a has been associated with development, cancer and brain function, these data suggest a biochemical mechanism for the beneficial health effect of black tea and coffee and a possible molecular mechanism for the improvement of brain performance and mental health by dietary polyphenols.