The overexpression of sialic acids and sialyltransferases (STs) during malignant transformation and progression could result in the aberrant sialylation of cancer cells. Therefore, interfering the sialic acid synthesis might be an effective pathway in cancer therapy. In this study, we assessed that the antitumor inhibitors of 20(S)-ginsenosides Rg3, 20(R)-ginsenosides Rg3, 20(S)-ginsenosides Rh2, and 20(R)-ginsenosides Rh2 could block the sialoglycans in liver cancer cells HepG2. The results showed that these four compounds could inhibit the expressions of the total and free sialic acid at different levels in HepG2, respectively; also, it showed dose dependence. In addition, the results of the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay showed that the above four compounds can inhibit the expression of STs significantly. We also found that these compounds could mediate the block of sialylation of α2,3- and α2,6-linked sialic acids in HepG2 cells by flow cytometry. Meanwhile, the results of the molecular docking investigation showed that these compounds showed strong interaction with ST6GalI and ST3GalI. These results verified that the ginsenosides have a powerful inhibiting aberrant sialylation, and it laid a theoretical foundation for further research on the investigation of ginsenosides as the target inhibitors on STs.
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A Journal of Biosciences: Zeitschrift für Naturforschung C (ZNC) is an international scientific journal for the emerging field of natural and natural-like products. ZNC publishes original research on the isolation, bio-chemical synthesis and bioactivities of natural products, their biochemistry, pharmacology, biotechnology, and biological activity and innovative developed computational methods for predicting their structure and/or function.