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A Network Pharmacology Approach to Explore the Potential Mechanisms of Huangqin-Baishao Herb Pair in Treatment of Cancer

Tian Xu, Qingguo Wang, Min Liu

(School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2020; 26:e923199

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.923199


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to identify the bioactive ingredients of Huangqin-Baishao herb pair and to reveal its anti-cancer mechanisms through a pharmacology approach.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Detailed information on compounds in the HQ-BS herb pair was obtained from the Traditional Chinese medicine systems pharmacology (TCMSP) and screened by the criteria of OB ≥30% and DL ≥0.18. A systematic drug targeting model (SysDT) was used for compound targets prediction, and then the targets were analyzed for Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment. The protein-protein interaction (PPI) network of HQ-BS targets was constructed, after identifying core networks through Cytoscape plugins.
RESULTS: We found 47 bioactive compounds of HQ-BS and 107 human-derived targets. A compound target network and a target signal pathway network were constructed and used for topological analysis. Kaempferol, beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, wogonin, and oroxylin-a were identified as core compounds and pathways in cancer. The calcium signaling pathway, PI3K-Akt signaling pathway, TNF signaling pathway, chemical carcinogenesis, estrogen signaling pathway, proteoglycans in cancer, HIF-1 signaling pathway, thyroid hormone signaling pathway, VEGF signaling pathway, small cell lung cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, NOD-like receptor signaling pathway, and T cell receptor signaling pathway were found to be potential signals of HQ-BS in treating cancer. Through PPI network analysis, TNF signaling pathway, tryptophan metabolism, proteoglycans in cancer, cell cycle, and chemical carcinogenesis sub-networks were obtained.
CONCLUSIONS: HQ-BS contains various bioactive compounds, including flavonoids, phytosterols, and other compounds, and these compounds can inhibit or activate multiple targets and pathways against cancer.

This paper has been published under Creative Common Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) allowing to download articles and share them with others as long as they credit the authors and the publisher, but without permission to change them in any way or use them commercially.
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