Reversal effect of ginsenoside Rh2 on oxaliplatin-resistant colon cancer cells and its mechanism.
Exp Ther Med. 2019 Jul ;18(1):630-636. Epub 2019 May 23. PMID: 31258699
Chemotherapy is an important treatment modality for colon cancer, however, drug resistance is the main factor leading to treatment failure. Ginsenoside Rh2 (G-Rh2), the main bioactive metabolite of ginseng, is known to possess the ability to potently induce cell apoptosis, inhibit cell proliferation and reverse multidrug resistance in a variety of cancer cells. The present study examined the effect of G-Rh2 on oxaliplatin (L-OHP)-resistant colon cancer cells and its potential mechanism. L-OHP-resistant colon cancer cells (LoVo/L-OHP) and LoVo cells were used in the present study. The effect of G-Rh2 on LoVo/L-OHP and LoVo cell proliferation was measured using a 3-(4,5 dimethylthiazol-z-yl)-3,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. The effects of G-Rh2 on LoVo/L-OHP and LoVo cell apoptosis were detected by flow cytometry. The mRNA and protein expression of apoptosis-related genes Bax, Bcl-2 and caspase-3, drug resistance-related genes P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and Smad4, were determined in LoVo/L-OHP and LoVo cells treated with G-Rh2 by reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot analyses. G-Rh2 treatment significantly inhibited the proliferation and induced the apoptosis of LoVo/L-OHP and LoVo cells. In addition, G-Rh2 treatment resulted in a significant increase in pro-apoptotic factors, Bax and caspase-3, and decrease in anti-apoptotic factor Bcl-2 in the LoVo/L-OHP and LoVo cells. Furthermore, G-Rh2 treatment significantly decreased the levels of P-gp and increased the levels of Smad4 in the LoVo/L-OHP and LoVo cells. It was found that L-OHP had no significant effects on LoVo/L-OHP cell proliferation or apoptosis, whereas G-Rh2 + L-OHP treatment significantly inhibited LoVo/L-OHP cell proliferation and induced apoptosis. L-OHP had no significant effects on the expression of P-gp, Smad4, Bcl-2, Bax or caspase-3 in LoVo/L-OHP cells. Treatment with G-Rh2 + L-OHP significantly reduced the expression of P-gp and Bcl-2, and enhanced the expression levels of Smad4, Bax and caspase-3. These findings demonstrated that G-Rh2 reversed the drug resistance of LoVo/L-OHP cells to L-OHP, and this may be mediated by inhibiting cell proliferation and promoting apoptosis and regulating the expression of drug resistance genes. These results suggest that G-Rh2 may function as a potent anticancer drug for drug resistance in colon cancer treatment.