Effects of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb761 on human colon adenocarcinoma cells

Cell Physiol Biochem. 2011;27(3-4):227-32. doi: 10.1159/000327948. Epub 2011 Apr 1.


Aims: To investigate the effect of Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb761) on cell proliferation and apoptosis in human colon cancer cells.

Methods: Human colon cancer cell lines (HT-29) were cultured and incubated with various concentrations (0-320 mg/l) of EGb 761 solution for up to 72 h. Cell viability, cell apoptosis, cell cycle, expression of caspase-3, the mRNA levels of p53, and Bcl-2 were assessed.

Results: EGb 761 inhibited the growth of HT-29 cells in a time-dose-dependent manner. At 80 and 320 mg/L, EGb 761 increased the number of cells in the G0/G1 phase and reduced cells in the G2/M and S phase. EGb 761 treatment also increased the apoptosis ratio of the HT-29 cells. EGb 761 treatment was associated with an increase in caspase-3 activities, reduction in bcl-2 mRNA expression and elevation in p53 mRNA expression.

Conclusion: EGb 761 inhibits the progression of human colon cancer cells. Its therapeutic effect may be related to enhanced caspase-3 activities, up-regulation of p53 and down-regulation of bcl-2 genes.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Caspase 3 / genetics
  • Caspase 3 / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Colonic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • G1 Phase
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Humans
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism
  • Resting Phase, Cell Cycle
  • S Phase
  • Time Factors
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Plant Extracts
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Ginkgo biloba extract
  • Caspase 3