We have demonstrated that ginsenoside Rh2 (G-Rh2), a ginseng saponin with a dammarane skeleton, induces apoptosis of human hepatoma SK-HEP-1 cells as evidenced by analyses of DNA fragmentation, flow cytometry and changes in cell morphology. Ac-YVAD-CMK or Ac-DEVD-CHO effectively prevented G-Rh2-induced DNA fragmentation, indicating the involvement of caspase-like proteases in the process of apoptosis. In addition, G-Rh2 induced the processing of caspase-3 to an active form, p17. In stable Bcl-2 transfectants, G-Rh2 also induced DNA fragmentation, while staurosporine-induced DNA fragmentation was totally blocked. As it did in wild-type cells, G-Rh2 induced the proteolytic activation of caspase-3 protease and subsequent cleavage of PARP in the bcl-2 transfectants. In summary, G-Rh2 contains an apoptotic inducing activity SK-HEP-1 cells which functions via Bcl-2-insensitive activation of caspase-3, followed by proteolytic cleavage of PARP.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research