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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 436863, 10 pages
Research Article

Potential Protein Phosphatase 2A Agents from Traditional Chinese Medicine against Cancer

1School of Pharmacy, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
2Department of Biomedical Informatics, Asia University, Taichung 41354, Taiwan
3School of Medicine, College of Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
4Computational and Systems Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

Received 18 January 2014; Accepted 30 January 2014; Published 29 April 2014

Academic Editor: Fuu-Jen Tsai

Copyright © 2014 Kuan-Chung Chen 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.


Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is an important phosphatase which regulates various cellular processes, such as protein synthesis, cell growth, cellular signaling, apoptosis, metabolism, and stress responses. It is a holoenzyme composed of the structural A and catalytic C subunits and a regulatory B subunit. As an environmental toxin, okadaic acid, is a tumor promoter and binds to PP2A catalytic C subunit and the cancer-associated mutations in PP2A structural A subunit in human tumor tissue; PP2A may have tumor-suppressing function. It is a potential drug target in the treatment of cancer. In this study, we screen the TCM compounds in TCM Database@Taiwan to investigate the potent lead compounds as PP2A agent. The results of docking simulation are optimized under dynamic conditions by MD simulations after virtual screening to validate the stability of H-bonds between PP2A-α protein and each ligand. The top TCM candidates, trichosanatine and squamosamide, have potential binding affinities and interactions with key residues Arg89 and Arg214 in the docking simulation. In addition, these interactions were stable under dynamic conditions. Hence, we propose the TCM compounds, trichosanatine and squamosamide, as potential candidates as lead compounds for further study in drug development process with the PP2A-α protein.