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Cancer Med. 2018 Nov;7(11):5621-5631. doi: 10.1002/cam4.1800. Epub 2018 Sep 27.

The anti-metastatic effect of ginsenoside Rb2 in colorectal cancer in an EGFR/SOX2-dependent manner.

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Soonchunhyang Institute of Medi-bio Science (SIMS), Soonchunhyang University, Cheonan, Korea.


Ginsenoside Rb2, a saponin from Panax ginseng, has been shown to have many functions. However, the effect of ginsenoside Rb2 on the metastasis of colorectal cancer (CRC) remains unknown. CRC cell lines HT29 and SW620 were used to determine the effects of ginsenoside Rb2 on the colony-forming, migration, invasion, and wound-healing abilities of CRC cells in vitro. Further, ginsenoside Rb2 was given intraperitoneally at 5 mg/kg of mouse body weight to check its effect on the metastasis of CRC cells in vivo. Ginsenoside Rb2 decreased colony-forming ability, migration, invasion, and wound healing of CRC cells in vitro, although it did not affect cell proliferation. As a possible mechanism, we found that ginsenoside Rb2 down-regulated the expression of stemness and Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-related genes via the EGFR/SOX2 signaling axis; these were partially rescued by either exogenous EGF treatment or ectopic expression of SOX2. More importantly, ginsenoside Rb2 significantly reduced the number of metastatic nodules in the livers, lungs, and kidneys in a mouse model of metastasis. These results suggest that ginsenoside Rb2 could be used to treat the metastasis of CRC therapeutically or as a supplement.


EGFR; EMT; colorectal cancer; ginsenoside Rb2; metastasis

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