Plumbagin (PL) pharmacologically plays the anti-proliferative effects in cancer cells, including effective suppression of colorectal cancer (CRC). However, the exact molecular mechanism of PL to treat CRC remains unclear. Using available SwissTargetPrediction and SuperPred databases, the anti-cancer biotargets of PL were identified, and the CRC-diseased targets were obtained through a DisGeNET database. The biological processes, and signaling pathways of PL to treat CRC were identified and visualized. Further, clinical and cell culture data were used to validate some bioinformatic findings. As shown in bioinformatics findings, 64 predictive biotargets of PL to treat CRC were collected, and 7 most important biotargets of tumor protein p53 (TP53), glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), mitogen-activated protein kinase 1 (MAPK1), E1A-associated protein p300 (EP300), poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1), nuclear factor kappa p65 protein (RELA), Bcl-2 like protein 1 (BCL2L1) were identified respectively. In addition, top 20 functional biological processes, signaling pathways of PL to treat CRC were screened and prioritized. In human study, CRC samples showed elevated expressions of neoplastic MAPK1, PARP1 mRNAs and reduced EP300 mRNA level. In cell culture study, PL-treated CRC cells resulted in down-regulated MAPK1, PARP1 mRNA expressions and up-regulation of EP300 mRNA level, characterized with suppressed cell proliferation. Taken together, the therapeutic biotargets and molecular mechanisms of PL to treat CRC were screened and identified by using a systematic pharmacology analysis, and some bioinformatic findings were validated in clinical and cell line experiments. Potentially, these hub biotargets may be the biomarkers for CRC detection and treatment.
Keywords: Biotarget Colorectal cancer Mechanism Plumbagin Systematic pharmacology