Induction of G2/M phase cell cycle arrest and apoptosis by ginsenoside Rf in human osteosarcoma MG‑63 cells through the mitochondrial pathway.
Oncol Rep. 2014 Jan ;31(1):305-13. Epub 2013 Oct 24. PMID: 24173574
Ginsenosides, extracted from the traditional Chinese herb ginseng, are a series of novel natural anticancer products known for their favorable safety and efficacy proﬁles. The present study aimed to investigate the cytotoxicity of ginsenoside Rf to human osteosarcoma cells and to explore the anticancer molecular mechanisms of ginsenoside Rf. Five human osteosarcoma cell lines (MG-63, OS732, U-2OS, HOS and SAOS-2) were employed to investigate the cytotoxicity of ginsenoside Rf by MTT and colony forming assays. After treatment with ginsenoside Rf, MG-63 cells which were the most sensitive to ginsenoside Rf, were subjected to flow cytometry to detect cell cycle distribution and apoptosis, and nuclear morphological changes were visualized by Hoechst 33258 staining. Caspase-3, -8 and -9 activities were also evaluated. The expression of cell cycle markers including cyclin B1 and Cdk1 was detected by RT-PCR and western blotting. The expression of apoptotic genes Bcl-2 and Bax and the release of cytochrome c were also examined by western blotting. Change in the mitochondrial membrane potential was observed by JC-1 staining in situ. Our results demonstrated that the cytotoxicity of ginsenoside Rf to these human osteosarcoma cell lines was dose-dependent, and the MG-63 cells were the most sensitive to exposure to ginsenoside Rf. Additionally, ginsenoside Rf induced G2/M phase cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in MG-63 cells. Furthermore, we observed upregulation of Bax and downregulation of Bcl-2, Cdk1 and cyclin B1, the activation of caspase-3 and -9 and the release of cytochrome c in MG-63 cells following treatment with ginsenoside Rf. Our findings demonstrated that ginsenoside Rf induces G2/M phase cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human osteosarcoma MG-63 cells through the mitochondrial pathway, suggesting that ginsenoside Rf, as an effective natural product, may have a therapeutic effect on human osteosarcoma.