Gallbladder cancer (GBC), the most frequent malignancy of the biliary tract, is associated with high mortality and extremely poor prognosis. 20(S)-ginsenoside Rg3 (20(S)-Rg3) is a steroidal saponin with high pharmacological activity. However, the anticancer effect of 20(S)-Rg3 in human GBC has not yet been determined. In this study, we primarily found that 20(S)-Rg3 exposure suppressed the survival of both NOZ and GBC-SD cell lines in a concentration-dependent manner. Moreover, induction of cellular senescence and G0/G1 arrest by 20(S)-Rg3 were accompanied by a large accumulation of p53 and p21 as a result of murine double minute 2 (MDM2) inhibition. 20(S)-Rg3 also caused a remarkable increase in apoptosis via the activation of the mitochondrial-mediated intrinsic caspase pathway. Furthermore, intraperitoneal injection of 20(S)-Rg3 (20 or 40 mg/kg) for 3 weeks markedly inhibited the growth of xenografts in nude mice. Our results demonstrated that 20(S)-Rg3 potently inhibited growth and survival of GBC cells both in vitro and in vivo. 20(S)-Rg3 attenuated GBC growth probably via activation of the p53 pathway, and subsequent induction of cellular senescence and mitochondrial-dependent apoptosis. Therefore, 20(S)-Rg3 may be a potential chemotherapeutic agent for GBC therapy.
Zhang, F., Li, M., Wu, X., Hu, Y., Cao, Y., Wang, X., … Liu, Y. (2015). 20(S)-ginsenoside Rg3 promotes senescence and apoptosis in gallbladder cancer cells via the p53 pathway. Drug Design, Development and Therapy, 9, 3969–3987. https://doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S84527