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Traditional Medicine Research  2018, Vol. 3 Issue (6): 273-285    DOI: 10.12032/TMR201814087
Modernization of Traditional Medicine     
A network pharmacology approach to investigate the mechanisms of Si-Jun-Zi decoction in the treatment of gastric precancerous lesions
Liang-Jun Yang1, Dao-Rui Hou2, Ya Li3, Zhi-Peng Hu4, Yong Zhang5,*()
1Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.
2The First People's Hospital of Xiangtan City, Xiangtan, Hunan, China.
3Lin’an Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Lin’an, Zhejiang, China.
4Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, China.
5Sichuan Second Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, Sichuan China.
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The Si-Jun-Zi decoction may exert a therapeutic effect on gastric precancerous lesions by intervening in the mucosal inflammation, cell apoptosis process, and cell proliferation.

Editor’s Summary

Gastric mucosal inflammation has the potential to promote the proliferation of gastric mucosal epithelial cells and inhibit their apoptosis. However, Si-Jun-Zi decoction may exert a therapeutic effect on these process via the multi-target network level.


Objective: To find out the potential mechanisms of Si-Jun-Zi (SJZ) decoction in the treatment of gastric precancerous lesions (GPL). Methods: A network pharmacology approach was used to analyze the active compounds, drug targets and interacting pathways of SJZ decoction in treating GPL. The compounds and predicted targets of SJZ decoction were screened from TCMSP, and the disease targets were obtained from GeneCards. The therapeutic mechanisms of action of the SJZ decoction were analyzed by gene ontology (GO) enrichment, Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes pathway enrichment analyses. Results: The results show that 111 compounds and 90 targets were obtained in this work. These targets were further mapped to 654 GO biological process terms and 21 remarkably pathways. Active compounds, targets, and pathways were used to construct a compound-target network, a target-pathways network, and an integrated GPL pathway. These results indicated that SJZ decoction may treat the dysfunctions of GPL mainly from intervening in the mucosal inflammation, cell apoptosis process, and cell proliferation. Conclusion: This work provided a novel approach to understand the pathogenesis of GPL and revealed the therapeutic mechanisms of SJZ decoction, which facilitate the modernization of herbal medicine for complex diseases in the future.

Key wordsNetwork pharmacology      Gastric precancerous lesions      Si-Jun-Zi decoction      Pathogenesis      Traditional Chinese medicine     
Published: 05 November 2018
Corresponding Authors: Zhang Yong     E-mail:
Cite this article:

Liang-Jun Yang, Dao-Rui Hou, Ya Li, Zhi-Peng Hu, Yong Zhang. A network pharmacology approach to investigate the mechanisms of Si-Jun-Zi decoction in the treatment of gastric precancerous lesions. Traditional Medicine Research, 2018, 3(6): 273-285. doi: 10.12032/TMR201814087

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Figure 1 GO analysis of target genes
The X-axis shows the enrichment counts of these terms, and the Y-axis shows the GO biological process terms of the target genes (Adjusted P-value < 0.01). GO, Gene ontology.
Figure 2 Compound-target network
Red nodes represent potential targets, purple nodes on behalf of herbal ingredients, and the dark lines represent the interactions between them. Node size is in proportion to its degree.
Figure 3 Target-pathway network
Blue nodes represent potential targets and red nodes represent the related pathways. Node size is in proportion to its degree.
Term Pathways Count Adjusted P-value
hsa05200 Pathways in cancer 46 < 0.001
hsa04151 PI3K-Akt signaling pathway 28 < 0.001
hsa04210 Apoptosis 19 < 0.001
hsa05206 MicroRNAs in cancer 19 < 0.001
hsa04115 p53 signaling pathway 18 < 0.001
hsa04668 TNF signaling pathway 18 < 0.001
hsa04068 FoxO signaling pathway 18 < 0.001
hsa04110 Cell cycle 17 < 0.001
hsa04066 HIF-1 signaling pathway 16 < 0.001
hsa04010 MAPK signaling pathway 16 < 0.001
hsa04620 Toll-like receptor signaling pathway 15 < 0.001
hsa04630 Jak-STAT signaling pathway 15 < 0.001
hsa05202 Transcriptional misregulation in cancer 14 < 0.001
hsa04060 Cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction 14 < 0.001
hsa04621 NOD-like receptor signaling pathway 12 < 0.001
hsa04012 ErbB signaling pathway 12 < 0.001
hsa04014 Ras signaling pathway 12 < 0.001
hsa04915 Estrogen signaling pathway 11 < 0.001
hsa04062 Chemokine signaling pathway 11 < 0.001
hsa05230 Central carbon metabolism in cancer 10 < 0.001
hsa04064 NF-kappa B signaling pathway 10 < 0.001
Table 1 The KEGG pathways of therapy target genes
Figure 4 Gastric precancerous lesions associated pathway
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