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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Jul 14;345(4):1308-14. Epub 2006 May 4.

Metabolites of ginsenosides as novel BCRP inhibitors.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge, UK.


We have previously shown ginsenosides derived from Panax ginseng exert opposing effects on angiogenesis. Here, we examined protopanaxadiol-containing ginsenosides (Rg3, Rh2, and PPD) and protopanaxatriol-containing ginsenosides (Rg1, Rh1, and PPT) as potential inhibitors of breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP). Among these ginsenosides, metabolites Rh2, PPD, and PPT significantly enhanced the cytotoxicity of mitoxantrone (MX) to human breast carcinoma MCF-7/MX cells which overexpress BCRP. PPD was the most potent followed by Rh2 and PPT. This effect was not seen in sensitive MCF-7 cells. Rg3, Rg1, and Rh1 were ineffective in either MCF-7 or MCF-7/MX cells. PPD, Rh2, and PPT were able to inhibit MX efflux in MCF-7/MX cells. PPD and Rh2 also increased MX uptake. In inside out membrane vesicles from Lactococcus lactis cells expressing BCRP, only PPD was found to significantly inhibit BCRP-associated vanadate sensitive ATPase activity. These results indicate that metabolites PPD, Rh2, and PPT were inhibitors of BCRP.

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