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Mol Med Rep. 2015 Sep;12(3):3557-3562. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2015.3802. Epub 2015 May 19.

Ginsenoside Rg3 induces apoptosis in human multiple myeloma cells via the activation of Bcl-2-associated X protein.

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Department of Hematology, Second Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 404000, P.R. China.


Ginsenoside Rg3 is one of the main constituents isolated from Panax ginseng, and exhibits cytotoxic effects against cancer cells. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of ginsenoside Rg3 on human multiple myeloma cells, and determine the underlying molecular mechanisms. The cells were exposed to ginsenoside Rg3 at various concentrations (0‑80 µM) for 48 h. A subsequent cell proliferation assay demonstrated that treatment with ginsenoside Rg3 resulted in a dose‑dependent inhibition of the proliferation of U266 and RPMI8226 cells. Furthermore, exposure to ginsenoside Rg3 led to a marked increase in the rate of apoptosis in the U266 cells, coupled with increased caspase‑3 activity. The ginsenoside Rg3‑treated cells also exhibited an elevation in the expression of B‑cell lymphoma 2‑associated X protein (Bax), a pro‑apoptotic protein. Notably, knockdown of Bax protected the U266 cells from Rg3‑induced apoptosis. Overall, these findings suggested that ginsenoside Rg3 induced apoptosis in multiple myeloma cells, at least partially, through upregulation of the expression of Bax.

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