Tumor Biology

, Volume 35, Issue 12, pp 11985–11994 | Cite as

20(s)-ginsenoside Rg3 promotes apoptosis in human ovarian cancer HO-8910 cells through PI3K/Akt and XIAP pathways

  • Jia-He WangEmail author
  • Jian-Fei Nao
  • Meng Zhang
  • Ping He
Research Article


Ovarian cancer is a serious tumor which represents a great threat to women’s health. Recently, researchers had found that 20(s)-ginsenoside Rg3 could inhibit growth of several cancer cell lines; however, the mechanism is not fully understood so far. In the present study, we found that 20(s)-ginsenoside Rg3 reduced cell viability and induced apoptosis in a dose- and time-dependent manner in the human ovarian cancer cells HO-8910. The induction of apoptosis was accompanied by downregulation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt family proteins and inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP) family proteins. 20(s)-ginsenoside Rg3 treatment resulted in activation of caspase-3 and -9, which may partly explain the anti-cancer activity of 20(s)-ginsenoside Rg3. Taken together, our study for the first time suggests that 20(s)-ginsenoside Rg3 is able to enhance apoptosis of HO-8910 cells, at least in part, through downregulation of PI3K/Akt and IAP family proteins. Moreover, the triggering of caspase-3 and -9 activation mediated apoptotic induction. Our data indicate that 20(s)-ginsenoside Rg3 is an effective apoptosis-inducing natural compound in ovarian cancer cells and may have a role in future therapies for ovarian cancer.


Ginsenoside Rg3 HO-8910 Apoptosis Caspase 



This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81101224), Outstanding Scientific Fund of Shengjing Hospital (201206), Tackle Key Problems in Science and Technology of Liaoning Province (2011225020), and Tackle Key Problems in Science and Technology of Shenyang City (F12-193-9-20).

Author contributions

Conceived and designed the experiments: JHW and JFN. Performed the experiments: JHW, JFN, and PH. Analyzed the data: MZ and PH. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: PH. Wrote the paper: JHW and JFN.


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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jia-He Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jian-Fei Nao
    • 2
  • Meng Zhang
    • 1
  • Ping He
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeriatricsShengjing Hospital of China Medical UniversityShenyangPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyShengjing Hospital of China Medical UniversityShenyangPeople’s Republic of China

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