A Novel Network Pharmacology Strategy to Decode Mechanism of Lang Chuang Wan in Treating Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Yao Gao, Ke Xin Wang, Peng Wang, Xiao Li, Jing Jing Chen, Bo Ya Zhou, Jun Sheng Tian, Daogang Guan*, Xue Mei Qin*, Aiping Lyu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Complex disease is a cascade process which is associated with functional abnormalities in multiple proteins and protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks. One drug one target has not been able to perfectly intervene complex diseases. Increasing evidences show that Chinese herb formula usually treats complex diseases in the form of multi-components and multi-targets. The key step to elucidate the underlying mechanism of formula in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is to optimize and capture the important components in the formula. At present, there are several formula optimization models based on network pharmacology has been proposed. Most of these models focus on the 2D/3D similarity of chemical structure of drug components and ignore the functional optimization space based on relationship between pathogenetic genes and drug targets. How to select the key group of effective components (KGEC) from the formula of TCM based on the optimal space which link pathogenic genes and drug targets is a bottleneck problem in network pharmacology. To address this issue, we designed a novel network pharmacological model, which takes Lang Chuang Wan (LCW) treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) as the case. We used the weighted gene regulatory network and active components targets network to construct disease-targets-components network, after filtering through the network attribute degree, the optimization space and effective proteins were obtained. And then the KGEC was selected by using contribution index (CI) model based on knapsack algorithm. The results show that the enriched pathways of effective proteins we selected can cover 96% of the pathogenetic genes enriched pathways. After reverse analysis of effective proteins and optimization with CI index model, KGEC with 82 components were obtained, and 105 enriched pathways of KGEC targets were consistent with enriched pathways of pathogenic genes (80.15%). Finally, the key components in KGEC of LCW were evaluated by in vitro experiments. These results indicate that the proposed model with good accuracy in screening the KGEC in the formula of TCM, which provides reference for the optimization and mechanism analysis of the formula in TCM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number512877
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

User-Defined Keywords

  • contribution index
  • effective proteins
  • Lang Chuang Wan
  • network pharmacology
  • optimization space
  • systemic lupus erythematosus


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