A combinatorial target screening strategy for deorphaning macromolecular targets of natural product

Hui Wei, Yi Di Guan, Liu Xia Zhang, Shao Liu, Aiping Lyu, Yan Cheng*, Dong Sheng Cao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Natural products, as an ideal starting point for molecular design, play a pivotal role in drug discovery; however, ambiguous targets and mechanisms have limited their in-depth research and applications in a global dimension. In-silico target prediction methods have become an alternative to target identification experiments due to the high accuracy and speed, but most studies only use a single prediction method, which may reduce the accuracy and reliability of the prediction. Here, we firstly presented a combinatorial target screening strategy to facilitate multi-target screening of natural products considering the characteristics of diverse in-silico target prediction methods, which consists of ligand-based online approaches, consensus SAR modelling and target-specific re-scoring function modelling. To validate the practicability of the strategy, natural product neferine, a bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloid isolated from the lotus seed, was taken as an example to illustrate the screening process and a series of corresponding experiments were implemented to explore the pharmacological mechanisms of neferine. The proposed computational method could be used for a complementary hypothesis generation and rapid analysis of potential targets of natural products.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112644
JournalEuropean Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • Combinatorial target screening
  • Consensus SAR modelling
  • Natural products
  • Neferine
  • Target-specific modelling


Dive into the research topics of 'A combinatorial target screening strategy for deorphaning macromolecular targets of natural product'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this