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A Network Pharmacology Analysis of the Active Components of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Zuojinwan in Patients with Gastric Cancer

Zheyu Zhang, Bin Li, Jianhua Huang, Siqi Huang, Dan He, Weijun Peng, Sifang Zhang

Department of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2020; 26:e923327

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.923327

Available online: 2020-07-02

Published: 2020-08-31

BACKGROUND: Zuojinwan (ZJW) is a traditional Chinese prescription normally used for gastritis. Several studies indicated that it could fight against gastric cancer. This study was designed to determine the potential pharmacological mechanism of ZJW in the treatment of gastric cancer.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Bioactive compounds and potential targets of ZJW and related genes of gastric cancer were retrieved from public databases. Pharmacological mechanisms including crucial ingredients, potential targets, and signaling pathways were determined using protein-protein interaction (PPI) and Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analyses. Virtual docking was performed to validate the findings.
RESULTS: Network analysis identified 47 active ZJW compounds, and 48 potential ZJW target genes linked to gastric cancer. Quercetin, beta-sitosterol, isorhamnetin, wogonin, and baicalein were identified as potential candidate agents. Our PPI analysis results combined with previously published results indicated that matrix metalloproteinases family members MMP9, MMP1, and MMP3 may play key roles in the anti-gastric cancer effect of ZJW. Molecular docking analysis showed that these crucial targets had good affinity for the representative components in ZJW. GO and KEGG enrichment analysis showed that ZJW target genes functioned in multiple pathways for treating gastric cancer, including interleukin-17 signaling and platinum drug resistance.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results illuminate the active ingredients, associated targets, biological processes, and signaling pathways of ZJW in the treatment of gastric cancer. This study enhances our understanding of the potential effects of ZJW in gastric cancer and demonstrates a feasible method for discovering potential drugs from Chinese medicinal formulas.

Keywords: Medicine, Chinese Traditional, Pharmacology, Stomach Diseases