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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


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Systems Pharmacology-Based Identification of Mechanisms of Action of Bolbostemma paniculatum for the Treatment of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Lan-Lan Wang, Chen Liao, Xiao-Qiang Li, Rong Dai, Qing-Wei Ren, Hai-Long Shi, Xiao-Ping Wang, Xue-Song Feng, Xu Chao

(College of Basic Medicine, Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine, Xi’an, Shaanxi, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2021; 27:e927624

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.927624

BACKGROUND: Traditional Chinese medicine has widely used Bolbostemma paniculatum to treat diseases, including cancer, but its underlying mechanisms remain unclear. The present study aimed to elucidate the potential pharmacological mechanisms of “Tu Bei Mu” (TBM), the Chinese name for Bolbostemmatis Rhizoma, the dry tuber of B. paniculatum, for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The active components and putative therapeutic targets of TBM were explored using SwissTargetPrediction, Traditional Chinese Medicine Systems Pharmacology Database and Analysis Platform (TCMSP), and Search Tool for Interactions of Chemicals (STITCH). The HCC-related target database was built using DrugBank, DisGeNet, Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM), and Therapeutic Target Database (TTD). A protein-protein interaction network of the common targets was constructed, based on the matches between TBM potential targets and HCC-related targets, using Cytoscape software. Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analyses of the cluster networks were used to elucidate the biological functions of TBM.
RESULTS: Pharmacological network diagrams of the TBM compound-target network and HCC-related target network were successfully constructed. A total of 22 active components, 191 predicted biological targets of TBM, and 3775 HCC-related targets were identified. Through construction of an HCC-related target database and a protein-protein interaction network of the common targets, TBM was predicted to be effective in treating HCC mainly through the PI3K-Akt, HIF-1, p53, and PPAR signaling pathways.
CONCLUSIONS: The PI3K/Akt, HIF1, p53, and PPAR pathways may play vital roles in TBM treatment of HCC. Also, the potential anti-cancer effect of TBM on HCC appears to stem from the synergetic effect of multiple targets and mechanisms.

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