Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Anticancer effects of ginsenoside Rk3 on non-small cell lung cancer cells: in vitro and in vivo


Ginsenoside Rk3 (Rk3) is present in the roots of processed Panax notoginseng herbs and it exerts anti-platelet aggregation, pro-immunogenic and cardioprotective effects. However, little is known regarding the anticancer activities of this compound, especially in lung cancer. This study was designed to investigate the anticancer effects of Rk3 in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells and in an H460 xenograft tumor model. Our results showed that Rk3 reduced cell viability, inhibited both cell proliferation and colony formation, and induced G1 phase cell cycle arrest by downregulating the expression of Cyclin D1 and CDK4 and upregulating the expression of P21. Rk3 also induced apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner in H460 and A549 cells by Annexin V/PI staining, TUNEL assay and JC-1 staining, resulted in the nuclear morphology change. Moreover, Rk3 induced the activation of caspase-8, -9, and -3, promoted changes in mitochondrial membrane potential, decreased the expression of Bcl-2, increased the expression of Bax, and caused the release of Cytochrome c, which indicated that the apoptosis-inducing effects of Rk3 were triggered via death receptors-mediated mitochondria-dependent pathways. Furthermore, Rk3 significantly inhibited the growth of H460 xenograft tumors without obvious effect on the body weight of the treated mice. Histological analysis indicated that Rk3 inhibited tumor growth by altering the proliferation and morphology of tumor cells. In addition, we confirmed that Rk3 inhibited angiogenesis via CD34 staining and chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay in vivo. Taken together, our finding revealed not only the anticancer effect of Rk3 on NSCLC cells but also new promising therapeutic agent for human NSCLC.

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 09 Mar 2017, accepted on 02 Sep 2017 and first published on 06 Sep 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7FO00385D
Citation: Food Funct., 2017, Accepted Manuscript
  •   Request permissions

    Anticancer effects of ginsenoside Rk3 on non-small cell lung cancer cells: in vitro and in vivo

    Z. G. Duan, J. Deng, Y. Dong, C. Zhu, W. Li and D. Fan, Food Funct., 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7FO00385D

Search articles by author