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Oncol Lett. 2018 Oct;16(4):5367-5374. doi: 10.3892/ol.2018.9235. Epub 2018 Jul 31.

MicroRNA-146a-5p enhances ginsenoside Rh2-induced anti-proliferation and the apoptosis of the human liver cancer cell line HepG2.

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Medical Laboratories, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510515, P.R. China.
Medical Laboratories, Guangzhou Twelfth People's Hospital, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510620, P.R. China.


Liver cancer is one of the leading causes of malignancy-associated mortality worldwide and its clinical therapy remains very challenging. Ginsenoside Rh2 (Rh2) has been reported to have antitumor effects on some types of cancer, including liver cancer. However, its regulatory mechanism has not been extensively evaluated. In the present study, Rh2 increased the expression of microRNA (miR)-200b-5p, miR-224-3p and miR-146a-5p, and decreased the expression of miR-26b-3p and miR-29a-5p. Of the three upregulated miRs, miR-146a-5p exhibited the highest fold elevation. In accordance with a previous study, Rh2 effectively inhibited the survival of liver cancer cells in vitro and in a mouse model. In addition, it was observed that Rh2 markedly promoted liver cancer apoptosis and inhibited colony formation. Cell apoptosis and the inhibition of cell survival as well as colony formation induced by Rh2 were enhanced and weakened by miR-146a-5p overexpression and inhibition, respectively. The results of the present study provide further evidence of the antitumor effect of Rh2 in liver cancer and also demonstrate that this effect may be mediated via the regulation of miR-146a-5p expression in the liver cancer cell line HepG2. The results indicated that miR-146a-5p may be a promising regulatory factor in Rh2-mediated effects in liver cancer.


antitumor; ginsenoside Rh2; liver cancer; microRNA-146a-5p; promotion

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