Proteasome inhibitors, such as green and black tea (Camelia sinensis) and turmeric (Curcuma longa), are now seen as important in the therapy of cancers. Such herbal products prevent skin, oral cavity, stomach, duodenal, colon, breast and prostate cancers. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the proteasomal chymotrypsin-type inhibitor found in Camelia sinensis.
Chemicals that inhibit angiogenesis, which are proteasome inhibitors and are chemopreventive, are found in mate (Ilex paraguayensis), which contains caffeoyl ester of quinic acid, and other chemicals. One of the esters is 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid (3,5-DCQ). Cinnamate esters have proteasome inhibitor activity and resemble EGCG.
An assay was developed for proteasome inhibitory activity and EGCG was used as a control for comparison. The most active of the related chemicals tested was found to be3,5-DCQ. At 20 g per mL it inhibited proteasome activity by 50% and at 100 g per mL it inhibited the activity by 85%. Neochlorogenic acid was less active. These chemicals were tested in test tubes and in animals.
The oral administration of mate proteasome inhibitors results in improvement in psoriasis. Topical treatment is the usual mode of treatment, especially with topical glucocorticoids that have side effects. Other treatments include topical retinoid and vitamin D, which are less effective. Curcumin extracts are effective in psoriasis and EGCG ointments are too irritating to use.
CONCLUSIONS: Topical cinnamate esters in mate are potentially useful against psoriasis and other inflammatory diseases. Chemicals in Mate are chemopreventive.
NOTE: The remains of a plant related to Ilex paraguayensis excavated from a shaman’s burial found near Charazani, a town in northern Bolivia, are as much as 5,000 years old. Mate is a drink commonly used in South America at this time. Mate tea can be used internally and is proteasome-inhibitory against certain cancers. Read about the effect of a proteasome inhibitor on cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.
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