Table_1_A Computational Systems Pharmacology Approach to Investigate Molecular Mechanisms of Herbal Formula Tian-Ma-Gou-Teng-Yin for Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease.XLSX

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is typically prescribed as formula to treat certain symptoms. A TCM formula contains hundreds of chemical components, which makes it complicated to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of TCM. Here, we proposed a computational systems pharmacology approach consisting of network link prediction, statistical analysis, and bioinformatics tools to investigate the molecular mechanisms of TCM formulae. Taking formula Tian-Ma-Gou-Teng-Yin as an example, which shows pharmacological effects on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and its mechanism is unclear, we first identified 494 formula components together with corresponding 178 known targets, and then predicted 364 potential targets for these components with our balanced substructure-drug–target network-based inference method. With Fisher’s exact test and statistical analysis we identified 12 compounds to be most significantly related to AD. The target genes of these compounds were further enriched onto pathways involved in AD, such as neuroactive ligand–receptor interaction, serotonergic synapse, inflammatory mediator regulation of transient receptor potential channel and calcium signaling pathway. By regulating key target genes, such as ACHE, HTR2A, NOS2, and TRPA1, the formula could have neuroprotective and anti-neuroinflammatory effects against the progression of AD. Our approach provided a holistic perspective to study the relevance between TCM formulae and diseases, and implied possible pharmacological effects of TCM components.