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Network pharmacology and molecular docking approaches to investigating the mechanism of action of Zanthoxylum bungeanum in the treatment of oxidative stress-induced diseases

Author(s):

Rong Zhao, Meng-Meng Zhang, Dan Wang, Wei Peng, Qing Zhang, Jia Liu, Li Ai* and Chun-Jie Wu*   Pages 1 - 17 ( 17 )

Abstract:


Background: Zanthoxylum bungeanum Maxim., a traditional Chinese herbal medicine, has been reported to possess therapeutic effects on diseases induced by oxidative stress (DOS), such as atherosclerosis and diabetes complication. However, the active components and its related mechanisms are still not systematically reported.

Objective: The current study was aimed to explore the main active ingredients and its molecular mechanisms of Z. bungeanum for treating DOS using network pharmacology combined with molecular docking simulation.

Methods: The active components of Z. bungeanum pericarps, in addition to the interacting targets, were identified from the Traditional Chinese Medicine Systems Pharmacology (TCMSP) database. These components were filtered using the parameters of oral bioavailability and drug-likeness, and the targets related to DOS were obtained from the Genecards and OMIM database. Furthermore, the overlapping genes were obtained, and a protein-protein interaction was visualized using the STRING database. Next, the Cytoscape software was employed to build a disease/drug/component/target network, and Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analysis were performed using R software. Finally, the potential active compounds and their related targets were validated using molecular docking technology.

Results: A total of 61 active compounds, 280 intersection genes, and 105 signaling pathways were obtained. Functional enrichment analysis suggested that DOS occurs possibly through the regulation of many biological pathways, such as AGERAGE and HIF-1 signaling pathways. Thirty of the identical target genes showed obvious compact relationships with others in the STRING analysis. Three active compounds, quercetin, diosmetin, and beta-sitosterol, interacting with the four key targets, exhibited strong affinities.

Conclusion: The findings of this study not only indicate the main mechanisms involving in the oxidative stress-induced diseases, but also provide the basis for further research on the active components of Z. bungeanum for treating DOS.

Keywords:

Zanthoxylum bungeanum, Oxidative stress, AGE-RAGE signaling pathways, Active components, Molecular docking.

Affiliation:

School of Pharmacy, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 611137, Sichuan Province, School of Pharmacy, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 611137, Sichuan Province, School of Pharmacy, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 611137, Sichuan Province, School of Pharmacy, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 611137, Sichuan Province, School of Pharmacy, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 611137, Sichuan Province, School of Pharmacy, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 611137, Sichuan Province, College of Ethnic Medicine, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 611137, Sichuan Province, School of Pharmacy, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 611137, Sichuan Province



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