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A Novel Discovery: Holistic Efficacy at the Special Organ Level of Pungent Flavored Compounds from Pungent Traditional Chinese Medicine

  • Chen, Zhao
  • Cao, Yanfeng
  • Zhang, Yanling
  • Qiao, Yanjiang
Publication Date
Feb 11, 2019
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Pungent traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs) play a vital role in the clinical treatment of hepatobiliary disease, gastrointestinal diseases, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, skin diseases and so on. Pungent TCMs have a vastness of pungent flavored (with pungent taste or smell) compounds. To elucidate the molecular mechanism of pungent flavored compounds in treating cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and liver diseases, five pungent TCMs with the action of blood-activating and stasis-resolving (BASR) were selected. Here, an integrated systems pharmacology approach is presented for illustrating the molecular correlations between pungent flavored compounds and their holistic efficacy at the special organ level. First, we identified target proteins that are associated with pungent flavored compounds and found that these targets were functionally related to CVDs and liver diseases. Then, based on the phenotype that directly links human genes to the body parts they affect, we clustered target modules associated with pungent flavored compounds into liver and heart organs. We applied systems-based analysis to introduce a pungent flavored compound-target-pathway-organ network that clarifies mechanisms of pungent substances treating cardiovascular diseases and liver diseases by acting on the heart/liver organ. The systems pharmacology also suggests a novel systematic strategy for rational drug development from pungent TCMs in treating cardiovascular disease and associated liver diseases.

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