Systematic elucidation of the traditional Chinese medicine prescription Danxiong particles via network pharmacology and molecular docking

  • Ning Li
  • Keixin Liu
  • Mai Yu
  • Shani Li
  • Mingjuan Liu
  • Wei Cai
  • Aiping Tian
Keywords: Danxiong particles, Traditional Chinese medicine, Network Pharmacology, Molecular docking


Purpose: To investigate the pharmacological effect of the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) prescription Danxiong particles (TDX105) and its mechanism of action.
Methods: The active compound and targets of TDX105 were investigated via network pharmacology. Gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) were enriched, and protein-protein interaction network (PPI) was constructed. A network of ‘components-targets-pathways’ was developed with Cytoscape 3.8.0 software, while the formation of molecular docking analysis was conducted using Autodock vina software.
Results: There were 304 compounds and 482 targets identified in total. Genes with degree ≥ mean node values were selected as the crucial targets, and string database was to be combined to 64 targets identified with cytoscape so as to draw a protein interaction map. A total of 137 pathways were enriched from 64 targets involving mainly 10 pathways, for example, PI3K-Akt signaling pathway, pathways in cancer, human cytomegalovirus infection and focal adhesion. Then, compound-target and compoundtarget- pathways were constructed using cytoscape (3.8.0). Finally, the five most active compounds, viz, quercetin, myricetin, luteolin, ellagic acid and kaempferol, and the top ten targets AKT1, GAPDH, TP53, ALB, EGFR, MAPK3, JUN, MAPK1, SRC and ESR1 were selected for molecular docking. These targets and compounds had strong interactions through a combination of hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic forces.
Conclusion: The mechanism of action of TDX105 has been successfully explained using the combination of network pharmacology and molecular docking. This may offer a solid foundation to the clinical use of TDX105, and further strengthen the prospects of its development for clinical use.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-9827
print ISSN: 1596-5996