A Novel Strategy for Decoding and Validating the Combination Principles of Huanglian Jiedu Decoction From Multi-Scale Perspective

Ke Xin Wang, Yao Gao, Wen Xia Gong, Xiao Feng Ye, Liu Yi Fan, Chun Wang, Xue Fei Gao, Li Gao, Guan Hua Du, Xue Mei Qin*, Aiping Lyu*, Daogang Guan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) formulas treat complex diseases through combined botanical drugs which follow specific compatibility rules to reduce toxicity and increase efficiency. “Jun, Chen, Zuo and Shi” is one of most used compatibility rules in the combination of botanical drugs. However, due to the deficiency of traditional research methods, the quantified theoretical basis of herbal compatibility including principles of “Jun, Chen, Zuo and Shi” are still unclear. Network pharmacology is a new strategy based on system biology and multi-disciplines, which can systematically and comprehensively observe the intervention of drugs on disease networks, and is especially suitable for the research of TCM in the treatment of complex diseases. In this study, we systematically decoded the “Jun, Chen, Zuo and Shi” rules of Huanglian Jiedu Decoction (HJD) in the treatment of diseases for the first time. This interpretation method considered three levels of data. The data in the first level mainly depicts the characteristics of each component in single botanical drug of HJD, include the physical and chemical properties of component, ADME properties and functional enrichment analysis of component targets. The second level data is the characterization of component-target-protein (C-T-P) network in the whole protein-protein interaction (PPI) network, mainly include the characterization of degree and key communities in C-T-P network. The third level data is the characterization of intervention propagation properties of HJD in the treatment of different complex diseases, mainly include target coverage of pathogenic genes and propagation coefficient of intervention effect between target proteins and pathogenic genes. Finally, our method was validated by metabolic data, which could be used to detect the components absorbed into blood. This research shows the scientific basis of “Jun-Chen-Zuo-Shi” from a multi-dimensional perspective, and provides a good methodological reference for the subsequent interpretation of key components and speculation mechanism of the formula.

Original languageEnglish
Article number567088
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

User-Defined Keywords

  • compatibility
  • Dijkstra model
  • information graph algorithm
  • system pharmacology
  • traditional Chinese medicine


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