Structural analogues in herbal medicine ginseng hit a shared target to achieve cumulative bioactivity

Wei Zhang, Wei Wei Tao, Jing Zhou, Cheng Ying Wu, Fang Long, Hong Shen, He Zhu, Qian Mao, Jun Xu*, Song Lin Li*, Qi Nan Wu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


By a pilot trial on investigating immunomodulatory activity and target of ginsenosides, the major bioactive components of ginseng, here we report that structural analogues in herbal medicines hit a shared target to achieve cumulative bioactivity. A ginsenoside analogues combination with definite immunomodulatory activity in vivo was designed by integrating pharmacodynamics, serum pharmacochemistry and pharmacokinetics approaches. The cumulative bioactivity of the ginsenoside analogues was validated on LPS/ATP-induced RAW264.7 macrophages. The potentially shared target NLRP3 involved in this immunomodulatory activity was predicted by systems pharmacology. The steady binding affinity between each ginsenoside and NLRP3 was defined by molecular docking and bio-layer interferometry assay. The activation of NLRP3 inflammasomes in LPS/ATP-induced RAW264.7 was significantly suppressed by the combination, but not by any individual, and the overexpression of NLRP3 counteracted the immunomodulatory activity of the combination. All these results demonstrate that the ginsenoside analogues jointly hit NLRP3 to achieve cumulative immunomodulatory activity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number549
Number of pages14
JournalCommunications Biology
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Structural analogues in herbal medicine ginseng hit a shared target to achieve cumulative bioactivity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this