Antitumor activity of ginsenoside Rg3 in melanoma through downregulation of the ERK and Akt pathways.
Int J Oncol. 2019 Jun ;54(6):2069-2079. Epub 2019 Apr 16. PMID: 31081060
Advanced metastatic melanoma is a malignant tumor for which there is currently no effective treatment due to resistance development. Ginsenoside Rg3, a saponin component extracted from ginseng roots, has been shown to reduce melanoma cell proliferation by decreasing histone deacetylase 3 and increasing p53 acetylation. The availability of data on the role of Rg3 in melanoma is currently extremely limited. The aim of the present study was to further investigate the effects of Rg3 on B16 melanoma cells and the underlying molecular events. The findings demonstrated that Rg3 suppressed the proliferation and DNA synthesis of B16 cells. Rg3 exposure induced tumor cell cycle arrest at the S phase and reduced the expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). Rg3 treatment also decreased metastasis of B16 cells in vitro and in vivo. The results indicated that this reduction was due to downregulation of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)‑2 and MMP‑9. Moreover, Rg3 inhibited melanoma‑induced angiogenesis, most likely by downregulating vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in B16 cells. Rg3 exposure decreased the expression of VEGF in B16 cells and theVEGF downregulation further suppressed angiogenesis by attenuating the proliferation and migration of vascular endothelial cells. Finally, the western blotting data demonstrated that Rg3 reduced the expression of extracellular signal‑regulated kinase (ERK) and protein kinase B (Akt) in vitro and in vivo. This result indicated that the antimelanoma effects of Rg3 may be mediated through suppression of ERK and Akt signaling. Further research is required to assess the value of Rg3 as a novel therapeutic strategy for melanoma in the clinical setting.