A network pharmacology approach to identify the mechanisms and molecular targets of curcumin against Alzheimer disease

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Medicine (Baltimore). 2022 Aug 26;101(34):e30194. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000030194.


BACKGROUND: Alzheimer disease (AD) is a degenerative brain disease, which may lead to severe memory loss and other cognitive disorders. However, few effective drugs are available in the clinic at present. Curcumin, a major ingredient of traditional Chinese medicine, Curcuma Longa, has various pharmacological activities. Therefore, exploring clinical drugs based on the inhibition of AD pathological features is imperative.

METHODS: First, we utilized the HERB database and Swisstarget Prediction database to get the related targets of curcumin and intersected with the AD targets. The intersection targets were used to construct the protein-protein interaction network and performed gene ontology and kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes analyses. Further, we obtained targets of curcumin against AD-related tau and aβ pathology via the AlzData database. These targets were applied to perform GEO and receiver operating characteristic analyses. Finally, the reliability of the core targets was evaluated using molecular docking technology.

RESULTS: We identified 49 targets of curcumin against AD, and kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes pathway enrichment analysis demonstrated that the Alzheimer disease pathway (has05010) was significantly enriched. Even more, we obtained 16 targets of curcumin-related Aβ and tau pathology. Among these targets, 8 targets involved the Alzheimer disease pathway and the biological process analyses showed that positive regulation of cytokine production (GO:0001819) was significantly enriched. Bioinformatic analyses indicated that HMOX1, CSF1R, NFKB1, GSK3B, BACE1, AR, or PTGS1 expression was significantly different compared to the control group in the AD patients. Finally, molecular docking studies suggested these genes have a good binding force with curcumin.

CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we identified curcumin exerted the effect of treating AD by regulating multitargets and multichannels through the method of network pharmacology.

PMID:36042609 | DOI:10.1097/MD.0000000000030194

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