Exploring the Ligand-Protein Networks in Traditional Chinese Medicine: Current Databases, Methods, and Applications.

Exploring the ligand-protein networks in traditional chinese medicine: current databases, methods, and applications.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; 2013: 806072
Zhao M, Zhou Q, Ma W, Wei DQ

The traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which has thousands of years of clinical application among China and other Asian countries, is the pioneer of the “multicomponent-multitarget” and network pharmacology. Although there is no doubt of the efficacy, it is difficult to elucidate convincing underlying mechanism of TCM due to its complex composition and unclear pharmacology. The use of ligand-protein networks has been gaining significant value in the history of drug discovery while its application in TCM is still in its early stage. This paper firstly surveys TCM databases for virtual screening that have been greatly expanded in size and data diversity in recent years. On that basis, different screening methods and strategies for identifying active ingredients and targets of TCM are outlined based on the amount of network information available, both on sides of ligand bioactivity and the protein structures. Furthermore, applications of successful in silico target identification attempts are discussed in detail along with experiments in exploring the ligand-protein networks of TCM. Finally, it will be concluded that the prospective application of ligand-protein networks can be used not only to predict protein targets of a small molecule, but also to explore the mode of action of TCM. HubMed – drug


Lessons learnt from evidence-based approach of using chinese herbal medicines in liver cancer.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; 2013: 656351
Zheng Z, Cho WC, Xu L, Wang J, Sze DM

This paper is a systematic review of evidence-based studies of the effectiveness of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) in the treatment of liver cancer. After a detailed analysis of the literature, five animal studies and four human clinical trials met the criteria for inclusion. Analysis revealed that results of the clinical trials, whilst encouraging, need to be interpreted with caution as problems with study designs may lead to apparent benefits being attributable to various forms of bias. However, as each of the CHM agents used in these studies appeared to be potentially beneficial, further well-designed and controlled randomized clinical trials are warranted. The second part of this review focused on the lessons learned from the relationships between Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, TCM Syndrome Differentiation, and modern scientific understanding of mechanisms of action of CHM agents. The understanding of TCM Syndrome Differentiation may allow identification of different patterns of disharmony and may provide important guidance to the prescription of CHM. Furthermore, quality control using both biological and chemical fingerprinting of CHM is important to ensure batch-to-batch consistency to deliver sustained therapeutic benefit. Also, careful assessment of herb-drug interactions is paramount for safety and integrative use of western chemotherapeutic and CHM agents. HubMed – drug


Decursin and Doxorubicin Are in Synergy for the Induction of Apoptosis via STAT3 and/or mTOR Pathways in Human Multiple Myeloma Cells.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; 2013: 506324
Jang J, Jeong SJ, Kwon HY, Jung JH, Sohn EJ, Lee HJ, Kim JH, Kim SH, Kim JH, Kim SH

Background. Combination cancer therapy is one of the attractive approaches to overcome drug resistance of cancer cells. In the present study, we investigated the synergistic effect of decursin from Angelica gigas and doxorubicin on the induction of apoptosis in three human multiple myeloma cells. Methodology/Principal Findings. Combined treatment of decursin and doxorubicin significantly exerted significant cytotoxicity compared to doxorubicin or decursin in U266, RPMI8226, and MM.1S cells. Furthermore, the combination treatment enhanced the activation of caspase-9 and -3, the cleavage of PARP, and the sub G1 population compared to either drug alone in three multiple myeloma cells. In addition, the combined treatment downregulated the phosphorylation of mTOR and its downstream S6K1 and activated the phosphorylation of ERK in three multiple myeloma cells. Furthermore, the combined treatment reduced mitochondrial membrane potential, suppressed the phosphorylation of JAK2, STAT3, and Src, activated SHP-2, and attenuated the expression of cyclind-D1 and survivin in U266 cells. Conversely, tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor pervanadate reversed STAT3 inactivation and also PARP cleavage and caspase-3 activation induced by combined treatment of doxorubicin and decursin in U266 cells. Conclusions/Significance. Overall, the combination treatment of decursin and doxorubicin can enhance apoptotic activity via mTOR and/or STAT3 signaling pathway in multiple myeloma cells. HubMed – drug