Chemopreventive effects of Panax notoginseng and its major constituents on SW480 human colorectal cancer cells

Chong Zhi Wang, Jing Tian Xie, Bin Zhang, Ming Ni, Anna Fishbein, Han H. Aung, Sangeeta R. Mehendale, Wei Du, Tong Chuan He, Chun Su Yuan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


In this study, we evaluated the effects of Panax notoginseng root extract (NGRE) and its major constituents on SW480 human colorectal cancer cells. We used high performance liquid chromatography to determine the contents of major saponins in NGRE. The anti-proliferative effects were evaluated by the cell counting method, and concentration-related anti-proliferative effects were observed. At 1.0 mg/ml, NGRE inhibited cell growth by 85.8% (P<0.01), probably linked to the higher concentration of ginsenosides Rb1 and Rg1. The pharmacologic activities of notoginsenoside R1 and ginsenosides Rg1 and Rb1 on the cells were antiproliferative. We tested the effects of NGRE on DNA synthesis by measuring [3H]-thymidine incorporation. NGRE induced cell apoptosis at 0.5 and 1 mg/ml. Two-day treatment with 300 μM of notoginsenoside R1, ginsenosides Rg1 and Rb1 increased cell apoptosis significantly. Cell cycle and cyclin A assay showed that NGRE arrested cells in the synthesis phase and increased the expression of cyclin A remarkably. NGRE also enhanced the actions of two chemotherapeutic agents, 5-fluorouracil and irinotecan. Cell growth decreased more with the combined treatment of NGRE and 5-fluorouracil (or irinotecan) than with the chemotherapy agent applied alone, suggesting that notoginseng can reduce the dose of 5-fluorouracil (or irinotecan) needed to achieve desired effects. Further in vivo and human trials are warranted to test whether notoginseng is a valuable chemo-adjuvant with clinical validity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1149-1156
Number of pages8
JournalInternational journal of oncology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • 5-fluorouracil
  • Anti-proliferation
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell cycle
  • Irinotecan
  • Notoginseng saponins
  • Panax notoginseng
  • SW480 human colorectal cancer cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Chemopreventive effects of Panax notoginseng and its major constituents on SW480 human colorectal cancer cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this