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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 278405, 13 pages
Research Article

Vitexicarpin Acts as a Novel Angiogenesis Inhibitor and Its Target Network

1MOE Key Laboratory of Bioinformatics and Bioinformatics Division, TNLIST, Department of Automation, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2Joint Computational Center of Drug Discovery, Tianjin International Joint Academy of Biotechnology & Medicine, Tianjin 300457, China

Received 22 October 2012; Accepted 20 November 2012

Academic Editor: Weidong Zhang

Copyright © 2013 Bo Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Vitexicarpin (VIT) isolated from the fruits of Vitex rotundifolia has shown antitumor, anti-inflammatory, and immunoregulatory properties. This work is designed to evaluate the antiangiogenic effects of VIT and address the underlying action mechanism of VIT by a network pharmacology approach. The results validated that VIT can act as a novel angiogenesis inhibitor. Firstly, VIT can exert good antiangiogenic effects by inhibiting vascular-endothelial-growth-factor- (VEGF-) induced endothelial cell proliferation, migration, and capillary-like tube formation on matrigel in a dose-dependent manner. Secondly, VIT was also shown to have an antiangiogenic mechanism through inhibition of cell cycle progression and induction of apoptosis. Thirdly, VIT inhibited chorioallantoic membrane angiogenesis as well as tumor angiogenesis in an allograft mouse tumor model. We further addressed VIT’s molecular mechanism of antiangiogenic actions using one of our network pharmacology methods named drugCIPHER. Then, we tested some key molecules in the VEGF pathway targeted by VIT and verified the inhibition effects of VIT on AKT and SRC phosphorylation. Taken together, this work not only identifies VIT as a novel potent angiogenesis inhibitor, but also demonstrates that network pharmacology methods can be an effective and promising approach to make discovery and understand the action mechanism of herbal ingredients.