Inhibition of NF-kappaB by ginsenoside Rg3 enhances the susceptibility of colon cancer cells to docetaxel.
Arch Pharm Res. 2009 May ;32(5):755-65. Epub 2009 May 27. PMID: 19471891
Sun Mi Kim
Ginsenoside Rg3, the main constituent isolated from Panax ginseng, has been of interest for use as a cancer preventive or therapeutic agent. We investigated here whether Rg3 can inhibit the activity of NF-kappaB, a key transcriptional factor constitutively activated in colon cancer that confers cancer cell resistance to chemotherapeutic agents. To investigate whether RG3 can suppress activation of NF-kappaB, and thus inhibit cancer cell growth, we examined the susceptibility of colon cancer cells (SW620 and HCT116) to treatment with Rg3 (25, 50, 75, 100 microM) and RG3-induced activation of NF-kappaB. RG3 dose-dependently inhibited cancer cell growth through induction of apoptosis and decreased NF-kappaB activity. In a further study of compounds in colon cancer, we used half of the IC(50) dose, values in combined treatments of Rg3 (50 microM) with conventional agents - docetaxel (5 nM), paclitaxel (10 nM) cisplatin (10 microM) and doxorubicin (2 microM). Compared to treatment with Rg3 or chemotherapy alone, combined treatment was more effective (i.e., there were synergistic effects) in the inhibition of cancer cell growth and induction of apoptosis and these effects were accompanied by significant inhibition of NF-kappaB activity. NF-kappaB target gene expression of apoptotic cell death proteins (Bax, caspase-3, caspase-9) was significantly enhanced, but the expression of anti-apoptotic genes and cell proliferation marker genes (Bcl-2, inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP-1) and X chromosome IAP (XIAP), Cox-2, c-Fos, c-Jun and cyclin D1) was significantly inhibited by the combined treatment compared to Rg3 or docetaxel alone. These results indicate that ginsenoside Rg3 inhibits NF-kappaB, and enhances the susceptibility of colon cancer cells to docetaxel and other chemotherapeutics. Thus, ginsenoside Rg3 could be useful as an anti-cancer or adjuvant anti-cancer agent.