, 59:211 | Cite as

Effects of theanine on growth of human lung cancer and leukemia cells as well as migration and invasion of human lung cancer cells

  • Qian Liu
  • Huiying Duan
  • Jinling Luan
  • Kazumi Yagasaki
  • Guoying Zhang
JAACT special issue


The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of theanine, a tea characteristic amino acid, on human lung cancer and leukemia cells. In the present study, we have demonstrated that theanine suppressed the in vitro and ex vivo growth of human non-small cell lung cancer A549 and leukemia K562 cell lines in dose- and time-dependant manners. In addition, theanine displayed the inhibitory effect on the migration of A549 cells. More importantly, theanine enhanced the anticancer activity of anticancer agents such as trichostatin A (the histone deacetylase inhibitor), berbamine and norcantharidin (the anticancer drugs in China) by strongly reducing the viability and/or migration rate in A549 cells. In addition, theanine significantly suppressed A549 cell invasion. Suppression of A549 cell migration may be one of the important mechanisms of action of theanine against the A549 cell invasion. Our present results suggest that theanine may have the wide therapeutic and/or adjuvant therapeutic application in the treatment of human lung cancer and leukemia.


Theanine Trichostatin A Berbamine Human lung cancer Leukemia Growth Migration Invasion 





Trichostatin A


Bay 11-7082





Grant support: This work is supported in part by grants from the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China to G.Z., from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of the People’s Republic of China to G.Z., the Projects of Yantai University to G.Z., and Projects from the Department of Science and Technology of Shandong Province to G.Z. (Y2008C71; 2009GG10002089).

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qian Liu
    • 1
  • Huiying Duan
    • 1
  • Jinling Luan
    • 1
  • Kazumi Yagasaki
    • 2
  • Guoying Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology, School of PharmacyYantai UniversityYantaiChina
  2. 2.Department of Applied Biological ScienceTokyo Noko UniversityFuchu, TokyoJapan

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