AccScience Publishing / TD / Volume 3 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.36922/td.2312
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Unveiling the mechanism of Buddleja officinalis against esophageal squamous cell carcinoma through network pharmacology and molecular docking approaches

Cheng Chang1 Zhen Zhen Yang2,3 Yin Sen Song2 Na Gao2,3 Hao Zhe Zhang2,3 Xiao Lin Zhang2 Tian Li Fan3*
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1 Department of Medical Nursing, Zhengzhou Urban Construction Vocational College, Zhengzhou, Henan, China
2 Translational Medicine Research Center, The Fifth Clinical Medical College of Henan University of Chinese Medicine (Zhengzhou People’s Hospital), Zhengzhou, Henan, China
3 Department of Pharmacology, Basic Medical School of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan, China
Tumor Discovery 2024, 3(1), 2312
Submitted: 24 November 2023 | Accepted: 27 February 2024 | Published: 20 March 2024
© 2024 by the Author (s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( )

In this research, we aim to explore the underlying mechanism of Buddleja officinalis (BO) in inhibiting esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) by means of network pharmacology and molecular docking approaches. First, BO component targets were determined from the Traditional Chinese Medicine Systematic Pharmacology and HERB databases (known as BenCaoZuJian in Chinese transliteration), and ESCC disease targets were identified from GeneCards and DisGeNET databases. Second, the Venny 2.1 online tool was utilized to visualize the intersection targets, and shared potential targets between BO and ESCC were identified using the STRING database. Third, the component-target-pathway networks were constructed using Cytoscape software. Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes were utilized for further analyzing the mechanism of BO in inhibiting ESCC. Finally, molecular docking technique was employed to delineate the docking profiles of BO and determine the optimal active component, which is threonine protein kinase (AKT1). We screened six active components and 227 targets from BO, of which 24 were shared targets of ESCC and BO. The network pharmacology analysis indicated core targets with high degrees, namely, serum albumin, insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor, AKT1, estrogen receptor, and basic fibroblast growth factor receptor 1, which are the most likely binding sites for the active components in BO. The related signaling pathways underpinning the inhibition of ESCC by BO encompass MAPK signaling pathway, adhesion junction pathway, and gastric cancer pathway. Moreover, linarin was recognized as the most suitable component for AKT1. Our results revealed that BO exhibits multicomponent, multi-target, and multi-pathway characteristics, which offer a scientific foundation for elucidating its therapeutic mechanism in ESCC and present novel insights for future investigations.

Network pharmacology
Molecular docking
Buddleja officinalis
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma
Threonine protein kinase
This research was financially supported by the Henan Province Medical Science and Technology Research Program Joint Construction Project (NO. LHGJ20210696), and General Program of Natural Science Foundation of Henan Province (NO. 212300410393).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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Tumor Discovery, Electronic ISSN: 2810-9775 Published by AccScience Publishing