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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 983951, 6 pages
Research Article

Identification of a Potential Target of Capsaicin by Computational Target Fishing

1College of Ecology, Lishui University, Lishui, Zhejiang 323000, China
2Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Zhejiang Pharmaceutical College, Ningbo 315100, China

Received 15 September 2015; Revised 17 November 2015; Accepted 18 November 2015

Academic Editor: Ki-Wan Oh

Copyright © 2015 Xuan-yi Ye 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.


Capsaicin, the component responsible for the pungency of chili peppers, shows beneficial effects in many diseases, although the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. In the present study, the potential targets of capsaicin were predicted using PharmMapper and confirmed via chemical-protein interactome (CPI) and molecular docking. Carbonic anhydrase 2 was identified as the main disease-related target, with the pharmacophore model matching well with the molecular features of capsaicin. The relation was confirmed by CPI and molecular docking and supported by previous research showing that capsaicin is a potent inhibitor of carbonic anhydrase isoenzymes. The present study provides a basis for understanding the mechanisms of action of capsaicin or those of other natural compounds.