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Article

A Network-Based Approach to Explore the Mechanisms of Uncaria Alkaloids in Treating Hypertension and Alleviating Alzheimer’s Disease

by 1,2,†, 1,†, 1,2, 1, 1, 1, 1,* and 1,*
1
Center for Modernization of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 501 Haike Road, Pudong New District, Shanghai 201203, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 19A Yuquan Road, Beijing 100049, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(5), 1766; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21051766
Received: 3 February 2020 / Revised: 27 February 2020 / Accepted: 2 March 2020 / Published: 4 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Informatics)
Uncaria alkaloids are the major bioactive chemicals found in the Uncaria genus, which have a long history of clinical application in treating cardiovascular and mental diseases in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). However, there are gaps in understanding the multiple targets, pathways, and biological activities of Uncaria alkaloids. By constructing the interactions among drug-targets-diseases, network pharmacology provides a systemic methodology and a novel perspective to present the intricate connections among drugs, potential targets, and related pathways. It is a valuable tool for studying TCM drugs with multiple indications, and how these multi-indication drugs are affected by complex interactions in the biological system. To better understand the mechanisms and targets of Uncaria alkaloids, we built an integrated analytical platform based on network pharmacology, including target prediction, protein–protein interaction (PPI) network, topology analysis, gene enrichment analysis, and molecular docking. Using this platform, we revealed the underlying mechanisms of Uncaria alkaloids’ anti-hypertensive effects and explored the possible application of Uncaria alkaloids in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. These results were further evaluated and refined using biological experiments. Our study provides a novel strategy for understanding the holistic pharmacology of TCM, as well as for exploring the multi-indication properties of TCM beyond its traditional applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: Uncaria alkaloids; network pharmacology; hypertension; Alzheimer’s disease; butyrylcholinesterase; molecular docking Uncaria alkaloids; network pharmacology; hypertension; Alzheimer’s disease; butyrylcholinesterase; molecular docking
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wu, W.; Zhang, Z.; Li, F.; Deng, Y.; Lei, M.; Long, H.; Hou, J.; Wu, W. A Network-Based Approach to Explore the Mechanisms of Uncaria Alkaloids in Treating Hypertension and Alleviating Alzheimer’s Disease. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 1766. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21051766

AMA Style

Wu W, Zhang Z, Li F, Deng Y, Lei M, Long H, Hou J, Wu W. A Network-Based Approach to Explore the Mechanisms of Uncaria Alkaloids in Treating Hypertension and Alleviating Alzheimer’s Disease. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2020; 21(5):1766. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21051766

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wu, Wenyong, Zijia Zhang, Feifei Li, Yanping Deng, Min Lei, Huali Long, Jinjun Hou, and Wanying Wu. 2020. "A Network-Based Approach to Explore the Mechanisms of Uncaria Alkaloids in Treating Hypertension and Alleviating Alzheimer’s Disease" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 21, no. 5: 1766. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21051766

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