Submit Manuscript  

Article Details

Uncovering Active Ingredients and Mechanisms of Spica Prunellae in the Treatment of Colon Adenocarcinoma: A Study Based on Network Pharmacology and Bioinformatics


Yan Lei, Hao Yuan, Liyue Gai, Xuelian Wu and Zhixiao Luo*   Pages 1 - 13 ( 13 )


Background: As a well-known herb used in the treatment of colon adenocarcinoma (COAD), Spica Prunellae (SP) shows favorable clinical effect and safety in China for many years, but its active ingredients and therapeutic mechanisms against COAD remain poorly understood. Therefore, this study aims to uncover active ingredients and mechanism of SP in the treatment of COAD using a combined approach of network pharmacology and bioinformatics.

Methods: A comprehensive approach mainly comprised of target prediction, network construction, pathway and functional enrichment analysis, and hub genes verification was adopted in the current study.

Results: We collected 102 compounds-related genes and 3549 differently expressed genes (DEGs) following treatment with SP, and 64 disease-drug target genes between them were recognized. In addition, a total of 25 active ingredients in SP were identified.Pathway and functional enrichment analyses suggested that the mechanisms of SP against COAD might be to induce apoptosis of colon cancer cells by regulating PI3K-Akt and TNF signaling pathway. Recognition of hub genes and core functional modules was performed by constructing protein-protein interaction (PPI) network, from whichTP53, MYC, MAPK8 and CASP3 were found as the hub target genes that might play an important part in therapy for COAD. Subsequently we further compared differential expression level and assessed prognostic value of these four hub genes. These result of verification suggested that SP exerted therapeutic effects against COAD via a PPI network involving TP53, MYC, MAPK8 and CASP3.

Conclusion: In this study, active ingredients and mechanism of SPin the treatment of COAD were systematically dis-cussed, which providedthe foundation for further experimental studies and mightact to promote its appropriate clinical application.


Spica Prunellae, colon adenocarcinoma, network pharmacology, bioinformatics, active ingredients, hub gene


Department of Otorhinolaryngology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, BGI Education Center, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen, 518083, College of Medical Science, China Three Gorges University, Yichang, College of Medical Science, China Three Gorges University, Yichang, Health management center, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016

Read Full-Text article