Although traditional Chinese medicine is safe for the clinical treatment of angiogenesis, the in vivo intervention mechanism is diverse, complex, and largely unknown. Therefore, we aimed to explore the active ingredients of traditional Chinese medicine and their mechanisms for the treatment of angiogenesis.
Data on angiogenesis-related targets were collected from the GeneCards, Therapeutic Target Database, Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man, DrugBank, and DisGeNET databases. These were matched to related molecular compounds and ingredients in the traditional Chinese medicine system pharmacology platform. The data were integrated; based on the condition of Degree >1 and relevant literature, a target-compound network as well as compound-medicine and target-compound-medicine networks were constructed using Cytoscape. Molecular docking was used to predict the predominant binding combination of core targets and components.
We obtained a total of 79 targets for angiogenesis, and 41 targets were matched to 3839 compounds. Then, 110 compounds were selected owing to their high correlation with angiogenesis. Fifty-five combinations in the network were obtained by molecular docking, among which PTGS2-Astragalin (-9.18 kcal/mol), KDR-Astragalin (-7.94 kcal/mol), PTGS2-quercetin (-7.41 kcal/mol), and PTGS2-myricetin (-7.21 kcal/mol) were the top combinations. These results indicated that the selected potential core compounds may have good binding activity with the core targets. Eighty new combinations were obtained from the network, and the top combinations based on affinity were KDR-beta-carotene (-10.13 kcal/mol), MMP9-beta-Sitosterol (-8.04 kcal/mol), MMP9-Astragalin (-7.82 kcal/mol), and MMP9-Diosgenin (-7.51 kcal/mol). The core targets included PTGS2, KDR, VEGFA, and MMP9. The essential components identified were astragalin, kaempferol, myricetin, quercetin, and β-sitosterol. The crucial Chinese medicines identified included Polygoni Cuspidati Rhizoma et Radix, Morus alba Root Bark, and Forsythia Fructus.
By systematically analysing the essential ingredients of traditional Chinese medicine and their targets, it is possible to determine their potential mechanism of action in the treatment of pathological angiogenesis. Our study provides a basis for further research and development of new therapeutics for angiogenesis.