Network pharmacology-based strategy to investigate pharmacological mechanisms of Zuojinwan for treatment of gastritis.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Zuojinwan (ZJW), a classic herbal formula, has been extensively used to treat gastric symptoms in clinical practice in China for centuries. However, the pharmacological mechanisms of ZJW still remain vague to date. METHODS:In the present work, a network pharmacology-based strategy was proposed to elucidate its underlying multi-component, multi-target, and multi-pathway mode of action against gastritis. First we collected putative targets of ZJW based on TCMSP and STITCH databases, and a network containing the interactions between the putative targets of ZJW and known therapeutic targets of gastritis was built. Then four topological parameters, "degree", "betweenness", "closeness", and "coreness" were calculated to identify the major targets in the network. Furthermore, the major hubs were imported to the Metacore database to perform a pathway enrichment analysis. RESULTS:A total of 118 nodes including 59 putative targets of ZJW were picked out as major hubs in terms of their topological importance. The results of pathway enrichment analysis indicated that putative targets of ZJW mostly participated in various pathways associated with anti-inflammation response, growth and development promotion and G-protein-coupled receptor signaling. More importantly, five putative targets of ZJW (EGFR, IL-6, IL-1?, TNF-? and MCP-1) and two known therapeutic targets of gastritis (CCKBR and IL-12?) and a link target NF-?B were recognized as active factors involved in the main biological functions of treatment, implying the underlying mechanisms of ZJW acting on gastritis. CONCLUSION:ZJW could alleviate gastritis through the molecular mechanisms predicted by network pharmacology, and this research demonstrates that the network pharmacology approach can be an effective tool to reveal the mechanisms of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) from a holistic perspective.
Project description:Introduction:Radix Salviae (Dan-shen in pinyin), a classic Chinese herb, has been extensively used to treat diabetic retinopathy in clinical practice in China for many years. However, the pharmacological mechanisms of Radix Salviae remain vague. The aim of this study was to decrypt the underlying mechanisms of Radix Salviae in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy using a systems pharmacology approach. Methods:A network pharmacology-based strategy was proposed to elucidate the underlying multi-component, multi-target, and multi-pathway mode of action of Radix Salviae against diabetic retinopathy. First, we collected putative targets of Radix Salviae based on the Traditional Chinese Medicine System Pharmacology database and a network of the interactions among the putative targets of Radix Salviae and known therapeutic targets of diabetic retinopathy was built. Then, two topological parameters, "degree" and "closeness certainty" were calculated to identify the major targets in the network. Furthermore, the major hubs were imported to the Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery to perform a pathway enrichment analysis. Results:A total of 130 nodes, including 18 putative targets of Radix Salviae, were observed to be major hubs in terms of topological importance. The results of pathway enrichment analysis indicated that putative targets of Radix Salviae mostly participated in various pathways associated with angiogenesis, protein metabolism, inflammatory response, apoptosis, and cell proliferation. The putative targets of Radix Salviae (vascular endothelial growth factor, matrix metalloproteinases, plasminogen, insulin-like growth factor-1, and cyclooxygenase-2) were recognized as active factors involved in the main biological functions of treatment, which implied that these were involved in the underlying mechanisms of Radix Salviae on diabetic retinopathy. Conclusions:Radix Salviae could alleviate diabetic retinopathy via the molecular mechanisms predicted by network pharmacology. This research demonstrates that the network pharmacology approach can be an effective tool to reveal the mechanisms of traditional Chinese medicine from a holistic perspective.
Project description:YuPingFeng (YPF) granules are a classic herbal formula extensively used in clinical practice in China for the treatment of COPD. However, the pathological mechanisms of YPF in COPD remain undefined. In the present research, a network pharmacology-based strategy was implemented to elucidate the underlying multicomponent, multitarget, and multipathway modes of action of YPF against COPD. First, we identified putative YPF targets based on TCMSP databases and constructed a network containing interactions between putative YPF targets and known therapeutic targets of COPD. Next, two topological parameters, "degree" and "closeness," were calculated to identify target genes in the network. The major hubs were imported to the MetaCore database for pathway enrichment analysis. In total, 23 YPF active ingredients and 83 target genes associated with COPD were identified. Through protein interaction network analysis, 26 genes were identified as major hubs due to their topological importance. GO and KEGG enrichment analysis results revealed YPF to be mainly associated with the response to glucocorticoids and steroid hormones, with apoptotic and HIF-1 signalling pathways being dominant and correlative pathways. The promising utility of YPF in the treatment of COPD has been demonstrated by a network pharmacology approach.
Project description:Background:Kang-bai-ling (KBL), a Chinese patent medicine, has been demonstrated as an effective therapy for vitiligo in China. However, the pharmacological mechanisms of KBL have not been completely elucidated. Methods:In this study, the potential multicomponent, multitarget, and multipathway mechanism of KBL against vitiligo was clarified by using network pharmacology-based strategy. In brief, potential targets of KBL were collected based on TCMSP databases, followed by network establishment concerning the interactions of potential targets of KBL with well-known therapeutic targets of vitiligo by using protein-protein interaction (PPI) data. As a result, key nodes with higher level of seven topological parameters, including "degree centrality (DC)," "betweenness centrality (BC)," "closeness centrality (CC)," "eigenvector centrality (EC)," "network centrality (NC)," and "local average connectivity (LAC)" were identified as the main targets in the network, followed by subsequent incorporation into the ClueGO for GO and KEGG signaling pathway enrichment analysis. Results:In accordance with the topological importance, a total of 23 potential targets of KBL on vitiligo were identified as main hubs. Additionally, enrichment analysis suggested that targets of KBL on vitiligo were mainly clustered into multiple biological processes (associated with DNA translation, lymphocyte differentiation and activation, steroid biosynthesis, autoimmune and systemic inflammatory reaction, neuron apoptosis, and vitamin deficiency) and related pathways (TNF, JAK-STAT, ILs, TLRs, prolactin, and NF-?B), indicating the underlying mechanisms of KBL on vitiligo. Conclusion:In this work, we successfully illuminated the "multicompounds, multitargets" therapeutic action of KBL on vitiligo by using network pharmacology. Moreover, our present outcomes might shed light on the further clinical application of KBL on vitiligo treatment.
Project description:QiXueHe Capsule (QXHC) is a Chinese patent drug that is extensively used for the treatment of menstrual disorders. However, its underlying pharmacological mechanisms have not been fully elucidated.A list of QXHC putative targets were predicted using MetaDrug. An interaction network using links between QXHC putative targets and the known therapeutic targets of menstrual disorders was constructed. QXHC candidate targets were also identified via calculating the topological feature values of nodes in the network. Additionally, molecular docking simulation was performed to determine the binding efficiency of QXHC compound-putative target pairs.A total of 1022 putative targets were predicted for 311 chemical components containing in QXHC. Following the calculation of topological features of QXHC putative target-known therapeutic target of menstrual disorder network, 66 QXHC candidate targets for the treatment of menstrual disorders were identified. Functionally, QXHC candidate targets were significantly associated with several biological pathways, such as VEGF and Chemokine signaling pathways, Alanine/aspartate/glutamate metabolism, Long-term depression and T/B cell receptor signaling pathway. Moreover, molecular docking simulation demonstrated that there were 20 pairs of QXHC chemical component-candidate target had the strong binding free energy.This novel and scientific network pharmacology-based study holistically deciphers that the pharmacological mechanisms of QXHC in the treatment of menstrual disorders may be associated with its involvement into hemopoiesis, analgesia, nutrients absorption and metabolism, mood regulation, as well as immune modulation.
Project description:Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a refractory autoimmune disease. Zhibai Dihuang Wan (ZDW) has frequently been used for treating SLE in China and been proved to have a prominent role in decreasing SLE patients' morality rate. However, the active substances in ZDW and the molecular mechanisms of ZDW in SLE remain unclear. This study identified the bioactive compounds and delineated the molecular targets and potential pathways of ZDW by using a network biology approach. First, we collected putative targets of ZDW based on TCMSP, GeneCards, and STITCH databases and built a network containing the interactions between the putative targets of ZDW and known therapeutic targets of SLE. Then, the key hubs were imported to DAVID Bioinformatics Resources 6.7 to perform gene ontology biological process (GOBP) and pathway enrichment analysis. A total of 95 nodes including 73 putative targets of ZDW were determined as major hubs in terms of their node degree. The results of GOBP and pathway enrichment analysis indicated that putative targets of ZDW mostly were involved in various pathways associated with inflammatory response and apoptosis. More importantly, eleven putative targets of ZDW (CASP3, BCL2, BAX, CYCS, NFKB1, NFKBIA, IL-6, IL-1?, PTGS2, CCL2, and TNF-?) were recognized as active factors involved in the main biological functions of treatment, implying the underlying mechanisms of ZDW acting on SLE. This study provides novel insights into the mechanisms of ZDW in SLE, from the molecular level to the pathway level.
Project description:Qingdai, a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) used for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) with good efficacy, has been used in China for decades. However, due to the complexity of traditional Chinese medicinal compounds, the pharmacological mechanism of Qingdai needs further research. In this study, we investigated the pharmacological mechanisms of Qingdai in the treatment of CML using network pharmacology approaches. First, components in Qingdai that were selected by pharmacokinetic profiles and biological activity predicted putative targets based on a combination of 2D and 3D similarity measures with known ligands. Then, an interaction network of Qingdai putative targets and known therapeutic targets for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia was constructed. By calculating the 4 topological features (degree, betweenness, closeness, and coreness) of each node in the network, we identified the candidate Qingdai targets according to their network topological importance. The composite compounds of Qingdai and the corresponding candidate major targets were further validated by a molecular docking simulation. Seven components in Qingdai were selected and 32 candidate Qingdai targets were identified; these were more frequently involved in cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, cell cycle, p53 signaling pathway, MAPK signaling pathway, and immune system-related pathways, which all play important roles in the progression of CML. Finally, the molecular docking simulation showed that 23 pairs of chemical components and candidate Qingdai targets had effective binding. This network-based pharmacology study suggests that Qingdai acts through the regulation of candidate targets to interfere with CML and thus regulates the occurrence and development of CML.
Project description:Guanxinjing capsules (GXJCs) are used in traditional Chinese medicine as a common therapy for coronary heart disease (CHD) complicated with depression. In this study, we aimed to identify the main active constituents in GXJCs and to investigate the mechanisms of GXJC action on CHD complicated with depression. The chemical constituent profile of the GXJC was identified by UHPLC-LTQ-Orbitrap assay, and oral bioavailability was evaluated to screen the GXJC drug-like chemical constituents. A total of 16 GXJC drug-like chemical constituents were identified. Then, putative targets of the GXJC drug-like chemical constituents were predicted using MedChem Studio, with 870 genes found to be the putative targets of these molecules. After that, a GXJC putative target-known CHD/depression therapeutic target network was constructed, and four topological features, including degree, betweenness, closeness and K-coreness, were calculated. According to the topological feature values of the GXJC putative targets, 14 main active constituents were identified because their corresponding putative targets had topological importance in the GXJC putative target-known CHD/depression therapeutic target network, which were defined as the candidate targets of GXJC against CHD complicated with depression. Functionally, these candidate targets were significantly involved in several CHD/depression-related pathways, including repairing pathological vascular changes, reducing platelet aggregation and inflammation, and affecting patient depression. This study identified a list of main active constituents of GXJC acting on CHD complicated with depression using an integrative pharmacology-based approach that combined active chemical constituent identification, drug target prediction and network analysis. This method may offer an efficient way to understand the pharmacological mechanisms of traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions.
Project description:Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is one of the most common complications of diabetes mellitus. Owing to its complicated pathogenesis, no satisfactory treatment strategies for DN are available. Milkvetch Root is a common traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and has been extensively used to treat DN in clinical practice in China for many years. However, due to the complexity of botanical ingredients, the exact pharmacological mechanism of Milkvetch Root in treating DN has not been completely elucidated. The aim of this study was to explore the active components and potential mechanism of Milkvetch Root by using a systems pharmacology approach. First, the components and targets of Milkvetch Root were analyzed by using the Traditional Chinese Medicine Systems Pharmacology database. We found the common targets of Milkvetch Root and DN constructed a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network using STRING and screened the key targets via topological analysis. Enrichment of Gene Ontology (GO) pathways and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways were analyzed. Subsequently, major hubs were identified and imported to the Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery for pathway enrichment analysis. The binding activity and targets of the active components of Milkvetch Root were verified by using the molecular docking software SYBYL. Finally, we found 20 active components in Milkvetch Root. Moreover, the enrichment analysis of GO and KEGG pathways suggested that AGE-RAGE signaling pathway, HIF-1 signaling pathway, PI3K-Akt signaling pathway, and TNF signaling pathway might be the key pathways for the treatment of DN; more importantly, 10 putative targets of Milkvetch Root (AKT1, VEGFA, IL-6, PPARG, CCL2, NOS3, SERPINE1, CRP, ICAM1, and SLC2A) were identified to be of great significance in regulating these biological processes and pathways. This study provides an important scientific basis for further elucidating the mechanism of Milkvetch Root in treating DN.
Project description:Wu-tou decoction (WTD) has been extensively used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Due to lack of appropriate methods, pharmacological mechanisms of WTD acting on RA have not been fully elucidated. In this study, a list of putative targets for compositive compounds containing in WTD were predicted by drugCIPHER-CS. Then, the interaction network of the putative targets of WTD and known RA-related targets was constructed and hub nodes were identified. After constructing the interaction network of hubs, four topological features of each hub, including degree, node betweenness, closeness and k-coreness, were calculated and 79 major hubs were identified as candidate targets of WTD, which were implicated into the imbalance of the nervous, endocrine and immune (NEI) systems, leading to the main pathological changes during the RA progression. Further experimental validation also demonstrated the preventive effects of WTD on inflammation and joint destruction in collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) rats and its regulatory effects on candidate targets both in vitro and in vivo systems. In conclusion, we performed an integrative analysis to offer the convincing evidence that WTD may attenuate RA partially by restoring the balance of NEI system and subsequently reversing the pathological events during RA progression.
Project description:Phellinus igniarius (P. igniarius) is a medicinal fungus that is widely used in East Asia for the adjuvant treatment of cancer. To elucidate the antitumor effective substances and mechanism of P. igniarius, we designed an approach incorporating cytotoxicity screening, phytochemical analysis, network pharmacology construction, and cellular and molecular experiments. The dichloromethane extract of P. igniarius (DCMPI) was identified as the active portion in HT-29 cells. Nineteen constituents were identified, and 5 were quantified by UPLC-ESI-Q/TOF-MS. Eight ingredients were obtained in the network pharmacology study. In total, 473 putative targets associated with DCMPI and 350 putative targets related to colon cancer were derived from online databases and target prediction tools. Protein-protein interaction networks of drug and disease putative targets were constructed, and 84 candidate targets were identified based on topological features. Pathway enrichment analysis showed that the candidate targets were mostly related to reactive oxygen species (ROS) metabolic processes and intrinsic apoptotic pathways. Then, a cellular experiment was used to validate the drug-target mechanisms predicted by the system pharmacology analysis. Experimental results showed that DCMPI increased intracellular ROS levels and induced HT-29 cell apoptosis. Molecular biology experiments indicated that DCMPI not only increased Bax and Bad protein expression and promoted PARP and caspase-3/9 cleavage but also down-regulated Bcl-2 and Bcl-xl protein levels to induce apoptosis in HT-29 cells. In conclusion, our study provides knowledge on the chemical composition and antitumor mechanism of P. igniarius, which may be exploited as a promising therapeutic option for colon cancer.