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Production of the Rare Ginsenoside Rh2-MIX (20(S)-Rh2, 20(R)-Rh2, Rk2, and Rh3) by Enzymatic Conversion Combined with Acid Treatment and Evaluation of Its Anti-Cancer Activity

  • Song, Bong-Kyu (Department of Biotechnology, Hankyong National University) ;
  • Kim, Kyeng Min (Department of Biotechnology, Hankyong National University) ;
  • Choi, Kang-Duk (Department of Biotechnology, Hankyong National University) ;
  • Im, Wan-Taek (Department of Biotechnology, Hankyong National University)
  • Received : 2017.02.02
  • Accepted : 2017.05.02
  • Published : 2017.07.28

Abstract

The ginsenoside Rh2 has strong anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic effects. However, the application of ginsenoside Rh2 is restricted because of the small amounts found in Korean white and red ginsengs. To enhance the production of ginsenoside Rh2-MIX (comprising 20(S)-Rh2, 20(R)-Rh2, Rk2, and Rh3 as a 10-g unit) with high specificity, yield, and purity, a new combination of enzymatic conversion using the commercial enzyme Viscozyme L followed by acid treatment was developed. Viscozyme L treatment at pH 5.0 and $50^{\circ}C$ was used initially to transform the major ginsenosides Rb1, Rb2, Rc, and Rd into ginsenoside F2, followed by acid-heat treatment using citric acid 2% (w/v) at pH 2.0 and $121^{\circ}C$ for 15 min. Scale-up production in a 10-L jar fermenter, using 60 g of the protopanaxadiol-type ginsenoside mixture from ginseng roots, produced 24 g of ginsenoside Rh2-MIX. Using 2 g of Rh2-MIX, 131 mg of 20(S)-Rh2, 58 mg of 20(R)-Rh2, 47 mg of Rk2, and 26 mg of Rh3 were obtained at over 98% chromatographic purity. Then, the anti-cancer effect of the four purified ginsenosides was investigated on B16F10, MDA-MB-231, and HuH-7 cell lines. As a result, these four rare ginsenosides markedly inhibited the growth of the cancer cell lines. These results suggested that rare ginsenoside Rh2-MIX could be exploited to prepare an anti-cancer supplement in the functional food and pharmaceutical industries.

Acknowledgement

Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)

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