Interpreting the Pharmacological Mechanisms of Huachansu Capsules on Hepatocellular Carcinoma Through Combining Network Pharmacology and Experimental Evaluation

Jihan Huang, Feiyu Chen, Zhangfeng Zhong, Hor Yue Tan, Ning Wang, Yuting Liu, Xinyuan Fang, Tao Yang*, Yibin Feng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most fatal cancers across the world. Chinese medicine has been used as adjunctive or complementary therapy for the management of HCC. Huachansu belongs to a class of toxic steroids isolated from toad venom that has important anti-cancer property. This study was aimed to identify the bioactive constituents and molecular targets of Huachansu capsules (HCSCs) for treating HCC using network pharmacology analysis and experimental assays. The major bioactive components of HCSCs were determined using ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS). A series of network pharmacology methods including target prediction, pathway identification, and network establishment were applied to identify the modes of action of HCSCs against HCC. Furthermore, a series of experiments, including MTT, clonogenic assay, 3-D transwell, wound healing assay, as well as flow cytometry, were conducted to verify the inhibitory ability of HCSCs on HCC in vitro. The results showed that 11 chemical components were identified from HCSCs. The network pharmacological analysis showed that there were 82 related anti-HCC targets and 14 potential pathways for these 11 components. Moreover, experimental assays confirmed the inhibitory effects of HCSCs against HCC in vitro. Taken together, our study revealed the synergistic effects of HCSCs on a systematic level, and suggested that HCSCs exhibited anti-HCC effects in a multi-component, multi-target, and multi-pathway manner.

Original languageEnglish
Article number414
Number of pages14
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

User-Defined Keywords

  • hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Huachansu capsules
  • KEGG pathway
  • molecular targets
  • network pharmacology

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