COVID-19 Research Paper Volume 13, Issue 12 pp 15785—15800

Clinical characterization and therapeutic targets of vitamin A in patients with hepatocholangiocarcinoma and coronavirus disease

Xiao Liang1,3, *, , Rui Zhou2, *, , Yu Li1,3, , Lu Yang1,3, , Min Su1,3, , Keng Po Lai1,3, ,

  • 1 Laboratory of Environmental Pollution and Integrative Omics, Guilin Medical University, Guilin, Guangxi, China
  • 2 Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Guigang City People's Hospital, The Eighth Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Guigang, Guangxi, China
  • 3 Guangxi Key Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Microenvironmental Regulation, Guilin Medical University, Guilin, Guangxi, China
* Equal contribution

Received: February 16, 2021       Accepted: June 4, 2021       Published: June 27, 2021
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2021 Liang 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.


Recent reports indicate that patients with hepatocholangiocarcinoma (CHOL) have a higher morbidity and mortality rate for coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Anti-CHOL/COVID-19 medicines are inexistent. Vitamin A (VA) refers to a potent nutrient with anti-cytotoxic and anti-inflammatory actions. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the potential functions and molecular mechanisms of VA as a potential treatment for patients with both CHOL and COVID-19 (CHOL/COVID-19). The transcriptome data of CHOL patients were obtained from the Cancer Genome Analysis database. Furthermore, the network pharmacology approach and bioinformatics analysis were used to identify and reveal the molecular functions, therapeutic biotargets, and signaling of VA against CHOL/COVID-19. First, clinical findings identified the medical characteristics of CHOL patients with COVID-19, such as susceptibility gene, prognosis, recurrence, and survival rate. Anti-viral and anti-inflammatory pathways, and immunopotentiation were found as potential targets of VA against CHOL/COVID-19. These findings illustrated that VA may contribute to the clinical management of CHOL/COVID-19 achieved by induction of cell repair, suppression of oxidative stress and inflammatory reaction, and amelioration of immunity. Nine vital therapeutic targets (BRD2, NOS2, GPT, MAPK1, CXCR3, ICAM1, CDK4, CAT, and TMPRSS13) of VA against CHOL/COVID-19 were identified. For the first time, the potential pharmacological biotargets, function, and mechanism of action of VA in CHOL/COVID-19 were elucidated.


CHOL: hepatocholangiocarcinoma; SARS-CoV-2: severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; COVID-19: Coronavirus Disease 2019; TCGA: The Cancer Genome Atlas; GO: Gene Ontology; BP: Biological process; KEGG: Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes; RMSD: root mean square deviation; TCMSP: Traditional Chinese Medicine Systems Pharmacology Database and Analysis Platform.