The mechanism and active compounds of semen armeniacae amarum treating coronavirus disease 2019 based on network pharmacology and molecular docking

  • Yuehua Wang Institute of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical College of Henan University, Jinming District, Kaifeng, Henan Province, China
  • Wenwen Gu Institute of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical College of Henan University, Jinming District, Kaifeng, Henan Province, China
  • Fuguang Kui Institute of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical College of Henan University, Jinming District, Kaifeng, Henan Province, China
  • Fan Gao Institute of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical College of Henan University, Jinming District, Kaifeng, Henan Province, China
  • Yuji Niu Institute of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical College of Henan University, Jinming District, Kaifeng, Henan Province, China
  • Wenwen Li Institute of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical College of Henan University, Jinming District, Kaifeng, Henan Province, China
  • Yaru Zhang Institute of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical College of Henan University, Jinming District, Kaifeng, Henan Province, China
  • Zhenzhen Guo Institute of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical College of Henan University, Jinming District, Kaifeng, Henan Province, China
  • Gangjun Du Institute of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical College of Henan University, Jinming District, Kaifeng, Henan Province, and School of Pharmacy and Chemical Engineering, Zhengzhou University of Industry Technology, Xinzheng, Henan Province, China
Keywords: Semen armeniacae amarum, COVID-19, Network pharmacology, Target prediction, Molecular Docking

Abstract

Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak is progressing rapidly, and poses significant threats to public health. A number of clinical practice results showed that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) plays a significant role for COVID-19 treatment.

Objective: To explore the active components and molecular mechanism of semen armeniacae amarum treating COVID-19 by network pharmacology and molecular docking technology.

Methods: The active components and potential targets of semen armeniacae amarum were retrieved from traditional Chinese medicine systems pharmacology (TCMSP) database. Coronavirus disease 2019-associated targets were collected in the GeneCards, TTD, OMIM and PubChem database. Compound target, compound- target pathway and medicine-ingredient-target disease networks were constructed by Cytoscape 3.8.0. Protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks were drawn using the STRING database and Cytoscape 3.8.0 software. David database was used for gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analysis. The main active components were verified by AutoDock Vina 1.1.2 software. A lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced lung inflammation model in Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) mice was constructed and treated with amygdalin to confirm effects of amygdalin on lung inflammation and its underlying mechanisms by western blot analyses and immunofluorescence.

Results: The network analysis revealed that nine key, active components regulated eight targets (Protooncogene tyrosine-protein kinase SRC (SRC), interleukin 6 (IL6), mitogen-activated protein kinase 1 (MAPK1), mitogen- activated protein kinase 3 (MAPK3), vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), HRAS proto-oncogene (HRAS), caspase-3 (CASP3)). Gene ontology and KEGG enrichment analysis suggested that semen armeniacae amarum plays a role in COVID- 19 by modulating 94 biological processes, 13 molecular functions, 15 cellular components and 80 potential pathways. Molecular docking indicated that amygdalin had better binding activity to key targets such as IL6, SRC, MAPK3, SARS coronavirus-2 3C-like protease (SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro) and SARS-CoV-2 angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2). Experimental validation revealed that the lung pathological injury and inflammatory injury were significantly increased in the model group and were improved in the amygdalin group.

Conclusion: Amygdalin is a candidate compound for COVID-19 treatment by regulating IL6, SRC, MAPK1 EGFR and VEGFA to involve in PI3K-Akt signalling pathway, VEGF signalling pathway and MAPK signalling pathway. Meanwhile, amygdalin has a strong affinity for SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro and SARS-CoV-2 ACE2 and therefore prevents the virus transcription and dissemination.

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Published
2021-02-04
How to Cite
Wang, Y., Gu, W., Kui, F., Gao, F., Niu, Y., Li, W., Zhang, Y., Guo, Z., & Du, G. (2021). The mechanism and active compounds of semen <em>armeniacae amarum</em&gt; treating coronavirus disease 2019 based on network pharmacology and molecular docking. Food & Nutrition Research, 65. https://doi.org/10.29219/fnr.v65.5623
Section
Original Articles