Application Value of Ginsenoside Rg3 in Targeting BCSCs to Treat Breast Cancer

Application Value of Ginsenoside Rg3 in Targeting BCSCs to Treat Breast Cancer


Ginsenoside Rg3 is Panaxanediol type tetracyclic triterpenoid saponin monomer extracted from the root of Panax ginseng, which has a wide range of pharmacological effects including anti-tumor, neuroprotection, cardiovascular protection, anti-fatigue, anti-oxidation, hypoglycemia, and enhancement of immune function. This research unveils the potential value of ginsenoside Rg3 in targeting breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) to treat breast cancer, one of the most common tumor worldwide with significant morbidity and mortality.

Ginsenoside Rg3 as anticancer adjuvant

Ginsenoside Rg3 can promote the apoptosis of tumor cells, and inhibit tumor growth, infiltration, invasion, metastasis and neovascularization. At the same time, it has the effect of reducing toxicity, increasing efficacy in the joint application with chemotherapeutic drugs, improving immunity of the organism, and reversing multi-drug resistance of tumor cells. Shenyi capsule, a new anticancer drug with ginsenoside Rg3 monomer as the main component, was approved by China FDA and marketed in 2003, which is mainly used in the adjuvant treatment of various tumors.

About BCSCs

Breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) are a group of undifferentiated cells with strong ability of self-renewal and differentiation, which is the main reason for poor clinical outcomes and poor efficacy. BCSCs can clonally proliferate under serum-free three-dimensional culture conditions and form mammospheres. BCSCs have specific surface markers (CD44, CD24, CD133, OCT4 and SOX2) or enzymes (ALDH1). BCSCs function as potential drivers of breast cancer, which are resistant to conventional breast cancer clinical treatments such as radiotherapy, leading to breast cancer recurrence and metastasis.

The suppressive effect of ginsenoside Rg3 in the progression of breast cancer

Ginsenoside Rg3 exerts inhibitory effects on the viability and clonogenicity of breast cancer cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner. In addition, it suppresses mammosphere formation, as evidenced by the spheroid number and diameter. Furthermore, ginsenoside Rg3 reduces the expression of stem cell-related factors (c-Myc, Oct4, Sox2, and Lin28), and decreases the ALDH (+) subpopulation breast cancer cells.


Ginsenoside Rg3 as an accelerator of MYC mRNA degradation

Ginsenoside Rg3 depresses BCSCs mainly through downregulating the expression of MYC, one of the main cancer stem cell reprogramming factors with a pivotal role in tumor initiation. Its regulatory effect on MYC mRNA stability is chiefly achieved by promoting the microRNA let-7 cluster. Under normal conditions, the let7 family is expressed at low levels in cancer cells, resulting in stable MYC mRNA expression and high c-Myc expression. However, Rg3 treatment leads to the upregulation of let-7 cluster, impairment of MYC mRNA stability, downregulation of c-Myc expression and inhibition of breast cancer stem-like properties.



The traditional Chinese herbal monomer ginsenoside Rg3 has the potential to suppress breast cancer stem-like properties by destabilizing MYC mRNA at the post-transcriptional level, showing great promise as adjuvant for the treatment of breast cancer.


Ning JY, Zhang ZH, Zhang J, Liu YM, Li GC, Wang AM, Li Y, Shan X, Wang JH, Zhang X, Zhao Y. Ginsenoside Rg3 decreases breast cancer stem-like phenotypes through impairing MYC mRNA stability. Am J Cancer Res. 2024 Feb 15;14(2):601-615. PMID: 38455405; PMCID: PMC10915333.

BONTAC Ginsenosides

BONTAC has been dedicated to the R&D, manufacture and sale of raw materials for coenzyme and natural products since 2012, with self-owned factories, over 170 global patents as well as strong R&D team. BONTAC has rich R&D experience and advanced technology in the biosynthesis of rare ginsenosides Rh2/Rg3, with pure raw materials, higher conversion rate and higher content (up to 99%). One-stop service for customized product solution is available in BONTAC. With unique Bonzyme enzymatic synthesis technology, both S-type and R-type isomers can be accurately synthesized here, with stronger activity and precise targeting action. Our products are subjected to strict third-party self-inspection, which are worth of trustworthy.


This article is based on the reference in the academic journal. The relevant information is provided for sharing and learning purposes only, and does not represent any medical advice purposes. If there is any infringement, please contact the author for deletion. The views expressed in this article do not represent the position of BONTAC. Under no circumstances will BONTAC be held responsible  for any claims, damages, losses, expenses, or costs whatsoever resulting or arising directly or indirectly from your reliance on the information and material on this website.


Get In Touch

Recommend Read

Leave Your Message