20(S)-Ginsenoside Rg3 prevents endothelial cell apoptosis via inhibition of a mitochondrial caspase pathway

Jeong Ki Min, Jung Ho Kim, Young Lai Cho, Yong Sun Maeng, Shin Jeong Lee, Bo Jeong Pyun, Young Myeong Kim, Jeong Hill Park, Young Guen Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Citations (Scopus)


Ginseng, refering to the roots of the species of the genus Panax ginseng, has been widely used in traditional oriental medicine for its wide spectrum of medicinal effects, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-tumorigenic, adaptogenic, and anti-aging activities. Many of its medicinal effects are attributed to the triterpene glycosides known as ginsenosides. In this study, we report a novel anti-apoptotic activity of 20(S)-ginsenoside Rg3 ((20S)Rg3) and its underlying molecular mechanism in human endothelial cells (ECs). ECs undergo apoptosis associated with increased LEHDase (caspase-9) and DEVDase (caspase-3) activity and DNA fragmentation after 24 h of serum deprivation. These apoptotic markers were suppressed by the addition of (20S)Rg3. (20S)Rg3 increased the expression of Bax and conversely decreased Bcl-2. (20S)Rg3 potently induced a rapid and sustained Akt activation and Bad phosphorylation, resulting in the inhibition of mitochondrial cytochrome c release. These anti-apoptotic activities of (20S)Rg3 were significantly abrogated in cells expressing dominant negative Akt. Taken together, our results suggest that (20S)Rg3 prevents EC apoptosis via Akt-dependent inhibition of the mitochondrial apoptotic signaling pathway. The novel property of (20S)Rg3 may be valuable for developing new pharmaceutical means that will control unwanted endothelial cell death at the site of vascular injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)987-994
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Oct 27

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by research Grant (M10416130002-04N1613-00210) from Korea Biotech R&D Group of MoST, Grant (R02-2003-000-10041-0) from the Korean Government (MOEHRD) of MoST, and Vascular System Research Center Grant from KOSEF.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of '20(S)-Ginsenoside Rg3 prevents endothelial cell apoptosis via inhibition of a mitochondrial caspase pathway'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this