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Elucidation of the mechanism of action of the anticholecystitis effect of the Tibetan medicine “Dida” using network pharmacology

Chuan Liu
Fang-Fang Fan
Xuan-Hao Li
Wen-Xiang Wang
Ya Tu
Yi Zhang


Purpose: To study the mechanism involved in the anti-cholecystitis effect the Tibetan medicine “Dida”, using network pharmacology-integrated molecular docking simulations
Methods: In this investigation, the bioactive compounds of Dida were collected, network pharmacology methods to predict their targets, and networks were constructed through GO and KEGG pathway analyses. The potential binding between the bioactive compounds and the targets were demonstrated using molecular docking simulations.
Results: A total of 12 bioactive compounds and 50 key targets of Dida were identified. Two networks, namely, protein–protein interaction (PPI) network of cholecystitis targets, and compound–target– pathway network, were established. Network analysis showed that 10 targets (GAPDH, AKT1, CASP3, EGFR, TNF, MAPK3, MAPK1, HSP90AA1, STAT3, and BCL2L1) may be the therapeutic targets of Dida in cholecystitis. Analysis of the KEGG pathway indicated that the anti-cholecystitis effect of Dida may its regulation of a few crucial pathways, such as apoptosis, as well as toll-like  receptor, T cell receptor, NOD-like receptor, and MAPK signaling pathways. Furthermore, molecular docking simulation revealed that CASP3, CAPDH, HSP90AA1, MAPK3, MAPK1, and STAT3 had well-characterized interactions with the corresponding compounds.
Conclusion: The mechanism underlying the anti-cholecystitis effect of Dida has been successfully predicted and verified using a combination of network pharmacology and molecular docking simulation. This provides a firm basis for the experimental verification of the use of Dida in the treatment of cholecystitis, and enhances its rational application in clinical practice.

Keywords: Tibetan medicine, Dida, Cholecystitis, Mechanism, Network pharmacology, Molecular docking simulation