Signaling pathway of ginsenoside-Rg1 leading to nitric oxide production in endothelial cells

FEBS Lett. 2006 May 29;580(13):3211-6. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2006.04.080. Epub 2006 May 4.


We here provide definitive evidence that ginsenoside-Rg1, the pharmacologically active component of ginseng, is a functional ligand of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) as determined by fluorescence polarization assay. Rg1 increased the phosphorylation of GR, phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K), Akt/PKB and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) leading to increase nitric oxide (NO) production in human umbilical vein endothelial cell. Rg1-induced eNOS phosphorylation and NO production were significantly reduced by RU486, LY294,002, or SH-6. Also, knockdown of GR completely eliminated the Rg1-induced NO production. This study revealed that Rg1 can indeed serve as an agonist ligand for GR and the activated GR can induce rapid NO production from eNOS via the non-transcriptional PI3K/Akt pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromones / pharmacology
  • Endothelial Cells / drug effects
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Ginsenosides / metabolism
  • Ginsenosides / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Mifepristone / pharmacology
  • Morpholines / pharmacology
  • Nitric Oxide / biosynthesis*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III / drug effects*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III / metabolism
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Transport / drug effects
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid / agonists*
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid / genetics
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • Chromones
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Ginsenosides
  • Morpholines
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid
  • Nitric Oxide
  • 2-(4-morpholinyl)-8-phenyl-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one
  • Mifepristone
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • ginsenoside Rg1