Effects of ginsenoside Rg3 on apoptosis in A375.S2 melanoma cells

Joo Hyoung Kim, Yong Chan Bae, Jae Woo Lee, June Seok Choi, Seong Hwan Bae


Background: Malignant melanoma is the most aggressive skin cancer, and metastatic malignant melanoma is very difficult to treat. Ginsenoside Rg3 extracted from ginseng has been reported to have anticancer effects in various kinds of cancer. It has also been reported that Rg3 induced apoptosis and inhibited metastasis of melanoma cells derived from rats, but studies on the anti-cancer effects of Rg3 on melanoma cells originating from humans have been rarely reported. In this study, to investigate whether Rg3 has anticancer effects in human melanoma cells, A375.S2 cells were used to determine whether Rg3 induces apoptosis of malignant melanoma cells and which signaling pathway leads to apoptosis.
Methods: In this study, we conducted in vitro experiments. First, we examined the effect of Rg3 on A375.S2 cells to change cell viability, cell morphology, colony formation ability, and cell motility. And then, through the use of flow cytometric assay, Western blot, and immunocytochemistry, we examined that Rg3-treated melanoma cells were killed through apoptosis. Finally, we examined the signaling pathway of apoptosis by measuring cell viability after treatment with apoptotic kinase inhibitor.
Results: As a result, cell viability, cell morphology, colony formation ability, and cell motility of A375. S2 cells treated with Rg3 were changed. After this experiment, we demonstrated that Rg3 induces A375.S2 melanoma cell apoptosis. Also, this apoptosis can be related to the MEK signaling pathway.
Conclusions: We have shown that Rg3 can induce apoptosis of A375.S2 human melanoma cells through this study.