DNA cleavage activities of (-)-epigallocatechin, (-)-epicatechin, (+)-catechin, and (-)-epigallocatechin gallate with various kinds of metal ions.

The DNA cleavage activities of (+)-catechin (C), (-)-epicatechin (EC), (-)-epigallocatechin (EGC), and (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) were examined with 16 different metal ions. Cu(2+) with all the catechins facilitated DNA cleavage, while Ag+ with EGC and EC showed a strong repressive effect. The other metal ions examined showed little effect.