Modified Panax ginseng extract regulates autophagy by AMPK signaling in A549 human lung cancer cells

Hwa Seung Yoo, Jung Min Kim, Eunbi Jo, Chong Kwan Cho, Seung Yeul Lee, Hwan Su Kang, Min Goo Lee, Pei Ying Yang, Ik Soon Jang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Panax ginseng has been used worldwide as a traditional medicine for the treatment of cancer and other diseases. The antiproliferative activity of ginseng has been increased after enzymatic processing of ginseng saponin, which may result in the accumulation of minor saponins, such as Rh2, Rg3, compound K and protopanaxatriol type (PPT) in modified regular ginseng extract (MRGX). In the present study, the anticancer activity and the associated mechanisms of MRGX were investigated using A549 human lung cancer cells. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying the effects of MRGX, we performed a microarray analysis of gene expression in the A549 cells. Molecular mechanisms that were associated with the anticancer activity of MRGX were studied, with a special focus on the autophagy-related multiple signaling pathways in lung cancer cells. Microarray analyses elucidated autophagyrelated genes affected by MRGX. Administration of MRGX at 100 μg/ml induced punctate cytoplasmic expression of LC3, Beclin-1 and ATG5 and increased expression of endogenous LC3-II whereas 50 μg/ml did not inhibit the proliferation of A549 cells. Compared to the control cells, in cells treated with MRGX at 100 μg/ml, the level of p-Akt was increased, while that of mTOR-4EBP1 was decreased. Downregulation of mTOR and 4EBP1 in the MRGX-treated cells was found not to be a p-Ulk (S757)-dependent pathway, but a p-Ulk (S317)- dependent autophagic pathway, using AMPK. These data suggest that MRGX regulates AMPK and induces autophagy in lung cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3287-3296
Number of pages10
JournalOncology reports
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun
Externally publishedYes


  • AMPK pathway
  • Akt/mTOR pathway
  • Autophagy
  • NSCLC cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Modified Panax ginseng extract regulates autophagy by AMPK signaling in A549 human lung cancer cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this