Enhancement of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3-and all-trans retinoic acid-induced HL-60 leukemia cell differentiation by panax ginseng

Seung Hyun Kim, Seung S. Cho, Jaya R. Simkhada, Hyo Jeong Lee, Si Wouk Kim, Tae Sung Kim, Jin Cheol Yoo

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer) has a wide range of therapeutic uses including cancer treatment. Human promyelocytic leukemia cells differentiate into monocytes or granulocytes when treated with 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25-(OH)2D3] or all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA). Treatment of HL-60 cells with zero to 100μg/ml of a methanol extract of ginseng for 72 h induced a small increase in cell differentiation. Surprisingly, a synergistic induction of differentiation was observed when HL-60 cells were treated with ATRA or 1,25-(OH)2D3 and the extract. The inhibitors of protein kinase C (PKC) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), but not of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3-K), inhibited the HL-60 differentiation induced by the extract in combination with ATRA or 1,25-(OH)2D3, signifying that PKC and ERK were involved in the cell differentiation enhancement by the extract. These results suggest that the ability of a methanol extract of ginseng to enhance the differentiation potential of ATRA or 1,25-(OH)2D3 may improve the ultimate outcome of acute promyelocytic leukemia therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1048-1053
Number of pages6
JournalBioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jun 18



  • 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D
  • All-trans retinoic acid
  • HL-60 cells
  • Leukemia
  • Panax ginseng

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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