Stereoisomer-specific ginsenoside 20(S)-Rg3 reverses replicative senescence of human diploid fibroblasts via Akt-mTOR-Sirtuin signaling

Kyeong Eun Yang, Hyun Jin Jang, In Hu Hwang, Eun Mi Hong, Min Goo Lee, Soon Lee, Ik Soon Jang, Jong Soon Choi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: The replicative senescence of human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) is accompanied by growth arrest. In our previous study, the treatment of senescent HDFs with Rg3(S) lowered the intrinsic reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels and reversed cellular senescence by inducing peroxiredoxin-3, an antioxidant enzyme. However, the signaling pathways involved in Rg3(S)-induced senescence reversal in HDFs and the relatedness of the stereoisomer Rg3(R) in corresponding signaling pathways are not known yet. Methods: We performed senescence-associated β-galactosidase and cell cycle assays in Rg3(S)-treated senescent HDFs. The levels of ROS, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) as well as the mitochondrial DNA copy number, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)+/1,4-dihydronicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) ratio, and NAD-dependent sirtuins expression were measured and compared among young, old, and Rg3(S)-pretreated old HDFs. Major signaling pathways of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt, 5' adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and sirtuin 1/3, including cell cycle regulatory proteins, were examined by immunoblot analysis. Results: Ginsenoside Rg3(S) reversed the replicative senescence of HDFs by restoring the ATP level and NAD+/NADH ratio in downregulated senescent HDFs. Rg3(S) recovered directly the cellular levels of ROS and the NAD+/NADH ratio in young HDFs inactivated by rotenone. Rg3(S) mainly downregulated phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt through the inhibition of mTOR by cell cycle regulators like p53/p21 in senescent HDFs, whereas Rg3(R) did not alter the corresponding signaling pathways. Rg3(S)-activated sirtuin 3/PGC1α to stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis. Conclusion: Cellular molecular analysis suggests that Rg3(S) specifically reverses the replicative senescence of HDFs by modulating Akt-mTOR-sirtuin signaling to promote the biogenesis of mitochondria.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)341-349
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Ginseng Research
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar


    • Akt-mTOR-sirtuin signaling
    • Ginsenoside Rg3(S)
    • Human dermal fibroblast
    • Reversal
    • senescence

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biotechnology
    • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
    • Complementary and alternative medicine


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