Table_3_The Modulatory Properties of Astragalus membranaceus Treatment on Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: An Integrated Pharmacological Method.doc
Background: Studies have shown that the natural products of Astragalus membranaceus (AM) can effectively interfere with a variety of cancers, but their mechanism of action on breast cancer remains unclear. Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is associated with a severely poor prognosis due to its invasive phenotype and lack of biomarker-driven-targeted therapies. In this study, the potential mechanism of the target composition acting on TNBC was explored by integrated pharmacological models and in vitro experiments.
Materials and Methods: Based on the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database and the relational database of Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCMs), the drug and target components were initially screened to construct a common network module, and multiattribute analysis was then used to characterize the network and obtain key drug-target information. Furthermore, network topology analysis was used to characterize the betweenness and closeness of key hubs in the network. Molecular docking was used to evaluate the affinity between compounds and targets and obtain accurate combination models. Finally, in vitro experiments verified the key component targets. The cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) assay, invasion assay, and flow cytometric analysis were used to assess cell viability, invasiveness, and apoptosis, respectively, after Astragalus polysaccharides (APS) intervention. We also performed western blot analysis of key proteins to probe the mechanisms of correlated signaling pathways.
Results: We constructed “compound-target” (339 nodes and 695 edges) and “compound-disease” (414 nodes and 6458 edges) networks using interaction data. Topology analysis and molecular docking were used as secondary screens to identify key hubs of the network. Finally, the key component APS and biomarkers PIK3CG, AKT, and BCL2 were identified. The in vitro experimental results confirmed that APS can effectively inhibit TNBC cell activity, reduce invasion, promote apoptosis, and then counteract TNBC symptoms in a dose-dependent manner, most likely by inhibiting the PIK3CG/AKT/BCL2 pathway.
Conclusion: This study provides a rational approach to discovering compounds with a polypharmacology-based therapeutic value. Our data established that APS intervenes with TNBC cell invasion, proliferation, and apoptosis via the PIK3CG/AKT/BCL2 pathway and could thus offer a promising therapeutic strategy for TNBC.