A Comprehensive Network Pharmacology-Based Strategy to Investigate Multiple Mechanisms of HeChan Tablet on Lung Cancer

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2020 May 30;2020:7658342. doi: 10.1155/2020/7658342. eCollection 2020.

Abstract

Background: HeChan tablet (HCT) is a traditional Chinese medicine preparation extensively prescribed to treat lung cancer in China. However, the pharmacological mechanisms of HCT on lung cancer remain to be elucidated.

Methods: A comprehensive network pharmacology-based strategy was conducted to explore underlying mechanisms of HCT on lung cancer. Putative targets and compounds of HCT were retrieved from TCMSP and BATMAN-TCM databases; related genes of lung cancer were retrieved from OMIM and DisGeNET databases; known therapeutic target genes of lung cancer were retrieved from TTD and DrugBank databases; PPI networks among target genes were constructed to filter hub genes by STRING. Furthermore, the pathway and GO enrichment analysis of hub genes was performed by clusterProfiler, and the clinical significance of hub genes was identified by The Cancer Genome Atlas.

Result: A total of 206 compounds and 2,433 target genes of HCT were obtained. 5,317 related genes of lung cancer and 77 known therapeutic target genes of lung cancer were identified. 507 unique target genes were identified among HCT-related genes of lung cancer and 34 unique target genes were identified among HCT-known therapeutic target genes of lung cancer. By PPI networks, 11 target genes AKT1, TP53, MAPK8, JUN, EGFR, TNF, INS, IL-6, MYC, VEGFA, and MAPK1 were identified as major hub genes. IL-6, JUN, EGFR, and MYC were shown to associate with the survival of lung cancer patients. Five compounds of HCT, quercetin, luteolin, kaempferol, beta-sitosterol, and baicalein were recognized as key compounds of HCT on lung cancer. The gene enrichment analysis implied that HCT probably benefitted patients with lung cancer by modulating the MAPK and PI3K-Akt pathways.

Conclusion: This study predicted pharmacological and molecular mechanisms of HCT against lung cancer and could pave the way for further experimental research and clinical application of HCT.