Table2_Glycyrrhizic Acid for COVID-19: Findings of Targeting Pivotal Inflammatory Pathways Triggered by SARS-CoV-2.xls (44.5 kB)
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Table2_Glycyrrhizic Acid for COVID-19: Findings of Targeting Pivotal Inflammatory Pathways Triggered by SARS-CoV-2.xls

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posted on 10.06.2021, 07:56 by Wenjiang Zheng, Xiufang Huang, Yanni Lai, Xiaohong Liu, Yong Jiang, Shaofeng Zhan

Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is now a worldwide public health crisis. The causative pathogen is severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Novel therapeutic agents are desperately needed. Because of the frequent mutations in the virus and its ability to cause cytokine storms, targeting the viral proteins has some drawbacks. Targeting cellular factors or pivotal inflammatory pathways triggered by SARS-CoV-2 may produce a broader range of therapies. Glycyrrhizic acid (GA) might be beneficial against SARS-CoV-2 because of its anti-inflammatory and antiviral characteristics and possible ability to regulate crucial host factors. However, the mechanism underlying how GA regulates host factors remains to be determined.

Methods: In our report, we conducted a bioinformatics analysis to identify possible GA targets, biological functions, protein-protein interactions, transcription-factor-gene interactions, transcription-factor-miRNA coregulatory networks, and the signaling pathways of GA against COVID-19.

Results: Protein-protein interactions and network analysis showed that ICAM1, MMP9, TLR2, and SOCS3 had higher degree values, which may be key targets of GA for COVID-19. GO analysis indicated that the response to reactive oxygen species was significantly enriched. Pathway enrichment analysis showed that the IL-17, IL-6, TNF-α, IFN signals, complement system, and growth factor receptor signaling are the main pathways. The interactions of TF genes and miRNA with common targets and the activity of TFs were also recognized.

Conclusions: GA may inhibit COVID-19 through its anti-oxidant, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory effects, and its ability to activate the immune system, and targeted therapy for those pathways is a predominant strategy to inhibit the cytokine storms triggered by SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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