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Theoretical Study of the Molecular Mechanism of Maxingyigan Decoction Against COVID-19: Network Pharmacology-based Strategy

Author(s):

Mingzhu Wang, Deyu Fu*, Lei Yao and Jianhua Li   Pages 1 - 12 ( 12 )

Abstract:


Aim and Objective: Maxingyigan (MXYG) decoction is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) prescription. However, how MXYG acts against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is not known. We investigated the active ingredients and the therapeutic targets of MXYG decoction against COVID-19.

Methods: A network pharmacology strategy involving drug-likeness evaluation, prediction of oral bioavailability, network analyses, and virtual molecular docking were used to predict the mechanism of action of MXYG against COVID-19.

Results: Thirty-three core COVID-19-related targets were identified from 1023 gene targets through analyses of protein– protein interactions. Eighty-six active ingredients of MXYG decoction hit by 19 therapeutic targets were screened out by analyses of a compound–compound target network. Via network topology, three “hub” gene targets (interleukin (IL-6), caspase-3, IL-4) and three key components (quercetin, formononetin, luteolin) were recognized and verified by molecular docking. Compared with control compounds (ribavirin, arbidol), the docking score of quercetin to the IL-6 receptor was highest, with a score of 5. Furthermore, the scores of three key components to SARS-CoV-2 are large as 4, 5, and 5, respectively, which are even better than those of ribavirin at 3. Bioinformatics analyses revealed that MXYG could prevent and treat COVID-19 through anti-inflammatory and immunity-based actions involving activation of T cells, lymphocytes, and leukocytes, as well as cytokine–cytokine-receptor interaction, and chemokine signaling pathways.

Conclusion: The hub genes of COVID-19 helped to reveal the underlying pathogenesis and therapeutic targets of COVID19. This study represents the first report on the molecular mechanism of MXYG decoction against COVID-19.

Keywords:

TCM formulations, Novel coronavirus, COVID-19, Network pharmacology, Molecular docking, Molecular mechanism.

Affiliation:

Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, Yueyang Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, Yueyang Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, Yueyang Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai



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