Virtual screening of active compounds from Artemisia argyi and potential targets against gastric ulcer based on Network pharmacology

Bioorg Chem. 2019 Jul:88:102924. doi: 10.1016/j.bioorg.2019.102924. Epub 2019 Apr 13.


Artemisia argyi (AA) is one of the renowned herbs in China often used in the treatment of gastric ulcer (GU). Aiming to predict the active compounds and systematically investigate the mechanisms of Artemisia argyi for GU treatment, the approach of network pharmacology, molecular docking, gene ontology (GO) analysis, and Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analysis were adopted, respectively, in present study. A total of 13 predicted targets of the 103 compounds in Artemisia argyi were obtained. Sorted by pathogenic mechanisms of targets and structure types of compounds, it was revealed that flavonoids and sesquiterpenes had better performance than monoterpenes. The network analysis showed that Phospholipase a2 (PA21B), Sulfotransferase family cytosolic 2b member 1 (ST2B1), Nitric-oxide synthase, endothelial (NOS3), Gastrin (GAST), neutrophil collagenase (MMP-8), Leukotriene A-4 hydrolase (LKHA4), Urease maturation factor HypB (HYPB), and Periplasmic serine endoprotease DegP (HtrA) were the key targets with intensely interaction. The functional enrichment analysis indicated that AA probably produced the gastric mucosa protection effects by synergistically regulating many biological pathways, such as NF-κB signaling pathway, HIF-1 signaling pathway, TNF signaling pathway, VEGF signaling pathway, and Toll-like receptor signaling pathway, etc. In addition, C73 and C15 might be promising leading compounds with good molecular docking score. As a consequence, this study holistically illuminates the active constituents and mechanisms based on data analysis, which contributes to searching for leading compounds and the development of new drugs for gastric ulcer.

Keywords: Artemisia argyi; GO analysis; Gastric ulcer; KEGG pathway enrichment analysis; Molecular docking; Network pharmacology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / metabolism*
  • Artemisia / chemistry*
  • Molecular Docking Simulation
  • Pharmacology / methods*
  • Protein Binding
  • Proteins / chemistry
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Proteins