Research Papers:

MiR-23a targets RUNX2 and suppresses ginsenoside Rg1-induced angiogenesis in endothelial cells

Xiao-Dong Wu, Ting Guo, Li Liu, Chao Wang, Kun Zhang, Han-Qiang Liu, Feng Wang, Wen-Dong Bai and Meng-Yao Zhang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:58072-58085. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19489

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Xiao-Dong Wu1,*, Ting Guo4,*, Li Liu5,*, Chao Wang5, Kun Zhang1,6, Han-Qiang Liu4, Feng Wang4, Wen-Dong Bai7 and Meng-Yao Zhang1,2,3

1Department of Cell Biology, National Translational Science Center for Molecular Medicine, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an 710032, China

2Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, Beijing 100071, China

3Department of Clinical Immunology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an 710032, China

4Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an 710032, China

5Department of Stomatology, PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100700, China

6College of Life Science and Bioengineering, School of Science, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044, China

7Clinical Laboratory Medicine Center, Xinjiang Command General Hospital of PLA, Urumqi 830000, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Meng-Yao Zhang, email: [email protected]

Wen-Dong Bai, email: [email protected]

Feng Wang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: angiogenesis, ginsenoside Rg1, miR-23a, runt-related transcription factor 2, vascular endothelial growth factor

Received: May 01, 2017    Accepted: June 19, 2017    Published: July 22, 2017


Rg1 is a predominant protopanaxatriol-type of ginsenoside found in Panax ginseng, and it has been shown to have anti-cancer effects in multiple types of cancer cells. However, Rg1 also induces the expression of proangiogenic factors, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A), in endothelial cells. Unfortunately, angiogenesis positively correlates with cancer development. In this study, we identified RUNX2 as a regulator of ginsenoside Rg1-induced angiogenesis for the first time. We found that RUNX2 was directly targeted and regulated by miR-23a. Additionally, miR-23a was shown to inhibit angiogenesis in both human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and in zebrafish. Furthermore, a decrease in RUNX2 expression resulted in translational repression of VEGF-A in HUVECs. Taken together, this study identified a MiR-23a/RUNX2/VEGF-A pathway in angiogenesis and shed light on the molecular mechanism of Rg1-induced angiogenesis. Thus, RUNX2 might be a potential therapeutic target in Rg1-mediated angiogenesis in cancer.

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