Network-pharmacology-based validation of TAMS/CXCL-1 as key mediator of XIAOPI formula preventing breast cancer development and metastasis

Sci Rep. 2017 Nov 6;7(1):14513. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-15030-3.


Network pharmacology has become a powerful means of understanding the mechanisms underlying the action of Chinese herbs in cancer treatment. This study aims to validate the preventive effects and molecular mechanisms of a clinical prescription XIAOPI formula against breast cancer. In vivo breast cancer xenograft data showed that XIAOPI delayed breast cancer development and efficiently inhibited lung metastasis, accompanied by prolonged survival benefits and decreased cancer stem cell subpopulations. However, similar phenomenon were not observed in a cell model. The herb-ingredient-target network analysis further identified a total of 81 genes closely correlated with the breast cancer chemoprevention effects of XIAOPI. Cytokine array analysis further validated CXCL-1 as the key target of XIAOPI both in vitro and in vivo. Evaluation of the mechanism demonstrated that CXCL-1 administration significantly abrogated the metastatic inhibition effects of XIAOPI on breast cancer migration, invasion, stem cells subpopulations, epithelial-mesenchymal transition(EMT), or mammosphere formation abilities. Overall, our study provides experimental evidence and molecular mechanisms that may facilitate the safe and effective use of herbal medicine for the prevention of breast cancer growth or metastasis, and may lead to CXCL-1-based therapeutic strategies for mammary malignancies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Chemokine CXCL1 / metabolism*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition / drug effects
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Lung Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / pathology
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / physiopathology
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / prevention & control
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / pathology
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / physiopathology
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / prevention & control*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / metabolism
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / prevention & control
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / pathology


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Chemokine CXCL1
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • xiaopi-I