2022 Volume 70 Issue 6 Pages 427-434
In the present study, four novel ginsenosides fatty acid and aromatic acid derivatives were designed and synthesized, and their cytotoxic effects on human ovarian carcinoma cells (SKOV3) were assessed using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. The results demonstrated that all derivatives inhibited SKOV3 cell growth, and Compound 3 showed the most outstanding anti-proliferative effect on SKOV3 cells. The IC50 value of Compound 3 was 33.8 ± 2.21 µM, less than half of that of cis-platinum (70.1 ± 7.64 µM). Subsequent analysis revealed that Compound 3 could promote SKOV3 cell apoptosis, and the percentage of apoptotic cell population increased with increasing Compound 3 concentrations. In addition, the expression ratios of Bax/Bcl-2, cleaved-Caspase-3/Caspase-3 and cleaved-Caspase-9/Caspase-9 were gradually elevated in Compound 3-treated SKOV3 cells compared with control cells. Furthermore, translocation of Bax to mitochondria was associated with the release of Cytochrome C. Molecular docking analysis revealed three hydrogen-bonds existed in Compound 3 with poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase (PARP) receptor (PDB code: 5DSY), which may be the target of the anti-ovarian cancer effect of Compound 3. Altogether, our study indicates that Compound 3 induces SKOV3 cell apoptosis via reactive oxygen species (ROS)-dependent mitochondrial pathway, and can serve as an anti-cancer agent for treating ovarian carcinoma.