Main Article Content

Ginsenoside induces cell death in breast cancer cells via ROS/PI3K/Akt signaling pathway

Lihong He
Xiaorui Wang
Qing Ma
Weipeng Zhao
Yongsheng Jia
Guolei Dong
Yuehong Zhu
Xiaochen Jia
Zhongsheng Tong


Purpose: To study the influence of ginsenoside on breast carcinoma, and the mechanism of action involved.
Methods: Different concentrations of ginsenoside were used to treat MCF-7 breast cancer cell line. Cell viability was measured by MTT assay, while protein expressions of p-Akt and p-PI3K were determined using Western blotting. The concentrations of reactive oxidative reactants and reactive oxygen species (ROS) were assessed using fluorescence immunoassay and immunofluorescence assay. The mechanism of action involved in ginsenoside-mediated apoptosis was determined based on ROS/PI3K/Akt signaling pathway.
Results: There was no change in the inhibition of MCF-7 cell proliferation in control cells with time (p > 0.05). However, inhibition of MCF-7 cell proliferation in ginsenoside group was significantly higher than that in the control group (p < 0.05); furthermore, it increased with time and ginsenoside concentration. Apoptosis was markedly and concentration-dependently higher in ginsenoside-treated MCF-7 cells than in controls (p > 0.05). There were lower protein levels of p-PI3K and p-Akt in ginsenoside-exposed MCF-7 cells than in control group; the protein expressions  decreased with increase in ginsenoside concentration (p < 0.05). The expressions of ROS in ginsenoside-treated MCF-7 cells declined, relative to the untreated group; in addition, the expressions decreased with increase in ginsenoside concentration (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Ginsenoside suppresses proliferation of MCF-7 cell line, and exerts apoptotic effect on the cells via inhibition of the ROS/PI3K/Akt signal pathway. This provides a new approach to treat breast cancer.

Keywords: Breast cancer cells, Ginsenoside, Apoptosis, ROS/PI3K/Akt signaling pathway

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-9827
print ISSN: 1596-5996