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Network pharmacology and molecular docking elucidate the underlying pharmacological mechanisms of the herb Houttuynia cordata in treating pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2

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posted on 2022-12-14, 09:10 authored by Junying Liu, Shouli Yuan, YAO YAOYAO YAO, Jinfan Wang, Gaia Scalabrino, Shibo Jiang, Helen Sheridan

Used in Asian countries, including China, Japan, and Thailand, Houttuynia cordata Thumb (H. cordata; Saururaceae, HC) is a traditional herbal medicine that possesses favorable antiviral properties. As a potent folk therapy used to treat pulmonary infections, further research is required to fully elucidate the mechanisms of its pharmacological activities and explore its therapeutic potential for treating pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2. This study explores the pharmacological mechanism of HC on pneumonia using a network pharmacological approach combined with reprocessing expression profiling by high-throughput sequencing to demonstrate the therapeutic mechanisms of HC for treating pneumonia at a systemic level. The integration of these analyses suggested that target factors are involved in four signaling pathways, including PI3K-Akt, Jak-STAT, MAPK, and NF-kB. Molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulation were applied to verify these results, indicating a stable combination between four metabolites (Afzelin, Apigenin, Kaempferol, Quercetin) and six targets (DPP4, ELANE, HSP90AA1, IL6, MAPK1, SERPINE1). These natural metabolites have also been reported to bind with ACE2 and 3CLpro of SARS-CoV-2, respectively. The data suggest that HC exerts collective therapeutic effects against pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2 and provides a theoretical basis for further study of the active drug-like ingredients and mechanism of HC in treating pneumonia. 


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Viruses, 14, 1588



Other Funding information

National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 82161138002)

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