Ginsenoside 20(S)-Rh2 exerts anti-cancer activity through the Akt/GSK3β signaling pathway in human cervical cancer cells
Published online on: January 18, 2018
Ginsenoside 20(S)-Rh2 (GRh2) is a bioactive compound derived from ginseng that is believed to maintain health in traditional Chinese medicine. Emerging evidence has suggested that GRh2 exhibits anti‑cancer activity. The present study hypothesized that GRh2 has an anti‑cancer function in human cervical cancer cells. An MTS assay demonstrated that GRh2 attenuated proliferation of HeLa cells in a dose‑ and time‑dependent manner. In addition, GRh2 inhibited migration and invasion, as determined by wound healing and transwell invasion assays, respectively. Furthermore, GRh2 treatment reduced expression of mesenchymal markers N‑cadherin and vimentin as well as epithelial mesenchymal transition transcriptional factor zinc finger E‑box‑binding homeobox 1 and snail1, and increased the protein expression levels of epithelial marker E‑cadherin. In addition, the results revealed that GRh2 prevented activation of the protein kinase B (Akt)/glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)3β signaling pathway in HeLa cells. In conclusion, the results suggested that GRh2 inhibits cervical cancer cell proliferation by targeting the Akt pathway, and prevents cervical cancer cell migration and invasion by suppressing the Akt/GSK3β regulated EMT process, and therefore, GRh2 may have the potential to be a novel anti‑cancer agent for cervical cancer.