COVID-19 Research Paper Volume 13, Issue 11 pp 14571—14589
Revealing the therapeutic targets and molecular mechanisms of emodin-treated coronavirus disease 2019 via a systematic study of network pharmacology
- 1 College of Basic Medical Science, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou 310053, China
- 2 College of Life Science, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou 310053, China
Received: December 30, 2020 Accepted: May 13, 2021 Published: June 4, 2021https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.203098
How to Cite
Copyright: © 2021 Du et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Emodin has shown pharmacological effects in the treatment of infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2, which leads to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Thus, we speculated that emodin may possess anti-COVID-19 activity. In this study, using bioinformatics databases, we screened and harvested the candidate genes or targets of emodin and COVID-19 prior to the determination of pharmacological targets and molecular mechanisms of emodin against COVID-19. We discovered core targets for the treatment of COVID-19, including mitogen-activated protein kinase 1 (MAPK1), tumor protein (TP53), tumor necrosis factor (TNF), caspase-3 (CASP3), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA), interleukin 1B (IL1B), mitogen-activated protein kinase 14 (MAPK14), prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (PTGS2), B-cell lymphoma-2-like protein 1 (BCL2L1), interleukin-8 (CXCL8), myeloid cell leukemia-1 (MCL1), and colony stimulating factor 2 (CSF2). The GO analysis of emodin against COVID-19 mainly included cytokine-mediated signaling pathway, response to lipopolysaccharide, response to molecule of bacterial origin, developmental process involved in reproduction, and reproductive structure development. The KEGG results exhibited that the molecular pathways mainly included IL-17 signaling pathway, AGE-RAGE signaling pathway in diabetic complications, TNF signaling pathway, pertussis, proteoglycans in cancer, pathways in cancer, MAPK signaling pathway, NOD-like receptor signaling pathway, NF-kappa B signaling pathway, etc. Also, molecular docking results revealed the docking capability between emodin and COVID-19 and the potential pharmacological activity of emodin against COVID-19. Taken together, these findings uncovered the targets and pharmacological mechanisms of emodin for treating COVID-19 and suggested that the vital targets might be used as biomarkers against COVID-19.